Centro Hispano

Emily Gonzalez, Class of 2016

Major: Biology

Heritage: Peruvian

Hobbies: Traveling, hanging out with my friends, cooking and baking, playing games, volunteering at St. Mary’s, and meeting new people 

What organizations are you involved with? 
Previously: SGA (Senator for the freshman class), Ritmo Latino, MAPS (Minority Association for Pre-Health Students), PVMA, Global Public Health Brigades (Vice-President), Global Medical Brigades

Where do you work? 
I work in private care for a disabled woman. Basically I assist her with medications, injuries, and other things she cannot do herself. She’s quadriplegic, meaning she can’t move her limbs. My other tasks involve assisting her with using the bathroom, changing her and moving her from her bed to her chair. 

What do you consider to be your top 3 accomplishments? 

1. Becoming the person I am today, because I really struggled with it. When I was in Japan, I kind of adopted their personality, because Japanese are kind of to themselves and they are not really open to other people. So when I came to America, that was completely different. I realized in order to make friends, I had to put myself out there and be more outgoing and confident. I feel like I reached that level. I am a completely different person right now than I was four years ago. 

2. I traveled to Honduras and I feel like I made a big impact on their lives even though it wasn’t a big accomplishment for me. The people we visited were in a rural community, and they did not have access to health care or even water. They had to walk two miles to get water, and so when we went, we set up a clinic there. For some, it was their first time to the doctor; we assisted them in their needs. Some of them we could not assist them, because they needed surgery or needed to go to an actual hospital. But, we did the best that we could. We gave a kid a new pair of teeth, because they got shattered. We also started a pathway for a water system for people in the mountains. Just that makes me feel like I made a huge difference and impact on somebody’s life or a lot of people’s lives. 

3. Graduating college or just making it this far in my life in general, because my mother was a first generation immigrant to this country and also a single mother with two kids. When most people grow up under those kinds of circumstances, they don’t get to go to college. I feel like for me being able to complete this and being able to take the next step in going into a career is a really big accomplishment for not only me, but for my entire family. 

What’s after college?
I have applied to many different programs, some relating to my major and some not. I’m really interested in the healthcare field and medicine, so a lot of the programs I’ve applied to relate to that. There are two nursing programs that I applied to and I am hoping that I can get in, but I won’t hear back until later this summer. I’m really excited for what’s to come. 

Dream job? 
I think to be a physician, and somewhere where I can make enough money to travel and go back to rural communities and set up clinics, like I did in Honduras where I helped them out a lot. 

Any advice to the generation rising at UNCW?
Just say “yes” to more things, because I’ve learned in order to become a more outgoing person and to have more friends, you can’t say “no” to things, because when you say “no” you are kind of staying in your comfort zone. When you’re in your comfort zone, you know what is going to happen – the same boring routine you go through every day. However, if you say “yes” you don’t know what is going to happen. Saying yes to situations will open more doors for you and lead you somewhere exciting. You only live once (YOLO) unless you are a cat, so make the most memories that you can! Doing this improved my confidence, made me more positive and made me want to try things I’ve never dreamed of doing before. I agreed to do this interview even though I was scared, but I pushed myself, and I’m really excited to see what comes from it!