In BUILD, Celine learned the skills she needs to stay focused on her goal to improve health outcomes in her community. This is perhaps the most important takeaway from her BUILD experience: “There are so many distractions on campus. I’ve seen people get disconnected with why they are in college and what their purpose is. My advice to students is to remember the purpose behind why you’re here.”
As a young entrepreneur, Celine strengthened her self-management skills so she can now focus on her academics in college and she created connections with mentors who are supporting her on her mission to create a better health care system.
One of those connections is with a mentor, Professor Kristin Murphy at UMass. Professor Murphy met Celine during one of her Honors College courses where college and high school students worked collaboratively to explore social issues including mental health, racism, mass incarceration, and equity in public schooling experiences in urban communities.
Celine described how this class helped her connect experiences in her own neighborhood to systemic inequities. She used what she saw in her environment to sharpen her vision for the future she wanted for herself and her community. “Growing up, I heard narratives that made it seem like I didn’t have control over my future or I was supposed to follow a path that others had already taken. I wanted to break the stereotypes and show that I had control over my life.”
Celine immediately stood out as a leader among both high school and Honors College students. Grit was the undercurrent to her drive and focus. Professor Murphy said:
“The intelligence, leadership, and positive attitude she displayed during the semester is exactly what each of us hopes to cultivate in the students we work alongside as professors.”
We’re proud that Celine continues the mentoring tradition and gives back to her community by mentoring Boston Public School students through a UMass program. We look forward to the day when she may be a mentor in a BUILD classroom too!