Alexi Rodriguez

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Alexi Rodriguez

02/23/2022 | AuthorNCC 

SUNY Nassau Student and Freedom Writer

I enrolled at SUNY Nassau because of the affordable classes and easy commute. When I got here, I was really impressed by the various support services offered and always knew there was someone to go to on campus if I needed guidance. I've enjoyed a wide range of classes that helped me hone in on my skills and interests. Being invited to the Honors program was exciting too, because I could take advantage of the challenging classes and use the Honors study space.

One of the best decisions I made on campus was when I decided to volunteer at the Nest, SUNY Nassau's on-campus food pantry. I've met some really wonderful people there. There are days when I'm stressed out or sad, but after volunteering and feeling a sense of motivation to show up for others, my day is completely turned around.

My high school English teacher introduced me to The Freedom Writers Diary as part of the curriculum. We learned about the students' perseverance, and how they found a home in a school that initially rejected them. I was ultimately one of 50 students chosen internationally to contribute to the new book, Dear Freedom Writer: Stories of Hardship and Hope for the Next Generation. It was a happy coincidence that my communications professor at SUNY Nassau, Prof. Kilmnick, was using the Freedom Writers Diary in the curriculum as well. Although I was nervous at first, I'm really excited to cohost a seminar next to (original Freedom Writers teacher) Erin Gruwell, and my friend and original Freedom Writer Sue Ellen. Being able to call myself a published contributing author has boosted my confidence in my writing skills, too!

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