As I’m sitting here writing this letter I am filled with stress and anxiety simply thinking about what the upcoming year has in store. My first PhD app is due December 1st, my baby brother is applying to colleges, and I’m stepping into a new role as a teacher. But what’s truly causing most of my anxiety is stepping down as your LUSSI GA.
For 3 years I’ve had the pleasure of welcoming you into the LUSSI family before you transitioned into your first year at Lehigh. For 3 years I have spent my summers meeting you, learning from you and watching you grow. When I arrived as a freshman under the guidance of my OMA family I never envisioned being apart of such a beautiful legacy that would allow me to pay it forward.
During the summer of 2014 we welcomed the first batch of LUSSI babies. The cohort of 2014 stole my heart because you allowed me to see the endless possibilities. Thank you for being bold enough to share your stories with the world! After pouring my blood, sweat and tears into each of you I didn’t think I could love other students the same way and I didn’t. In the summer of 2015 we welcomed a new group of students who created a different bond comparable to no other and laid a stronger foundation for future generations. And 60 students later we find ourselves in the summer of 2016, a time of growth and rebirth. As we watched the world dismiss and devalue beautiful black and brown bodies each of you held strong, drowned in reflection, spoke up with honesty, and thrived with resilience.
I deeply cherish the moments of serving as your TA and watching you gain critical consciousness while you learned to challenge yourself and your peers. Your questions and curiosity always inspired me to continue pursuing (and fighting for) the work that I love.
I adore the experience of serving alongside my LUSSI babies who went on to mentor the generations after. Thank you Harrison, Dabney, Maricruz, Kyle, Linette and Vlad for pouring your love into the efflorescent family.
During my first year of grad school, serving as your LUSSI GA offered me refuge within this ivory tower. Whenever I felt myself drowning LUSSI provided that breath of air that revived my ganas. You saved me from losing myself and gave me purpose. Now that I embark on my last year at Lehigh I have accepted the challenge to step into the classroom, not as a TA but as an educator and I’m only able to do so because of the opportunity you gave me each year.
Thank you for the vulnerability, trust, and love. Thank you for proving to the world that when education goes beyond the 4 walls and seeps into our hearts it has the power to decolonize and liberate our communities one student at a time.
Gracias mi querida LUSSI familia. With your support I will step into my new chapter with hope.
Forever dedicated to you,