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TRiO Project Threshold

Have you heard of TRiO, and in particular Project Threshold at OU?

If not, you should definitely look into the program! Project Threshold provides academic and emotional support to First-generation, low-income college students come from underrepresented communities. It provides us not only a home away from home where students are able to feel like they belong, but they also provide and empowering environment where all students are valued and encouraged to succeed. I have been aTRiO student since high school, and it has undoubtedly changed my life!

Lets be honest, college is kind of scary! There are so many unspoken rules and secrets to surviving at a university, and students whom come from environments where many people are unable to attend, they are most likely to be uninformed and confused. From learning how to effectively take notes, register for classes, create a financial game plan to even writing a professional email, college is a huge learning experience! Project Threshold invests in these students and supports their dreams all of the way!

 

Unfortunately, I am unable to rotate this picture, so tilt that screen!

This is Scott!! He is my Project Threshold Counselor at OU and my #1 supporter in life!

While being extremely sweet and compassionate, he motivates all of his students to always do their best and to follow their dreams.  He is truly an amazing human being, and deserves to world and more!

Of course I am writing about Project Threshold because I hold the student resource/family close to my heart, but there is another reason.

Project Threshold’s, a TRiO organization, funding was cut in the new administration’s budget. This means that not only will students be robbed of an amazing resource aimed to help students who traditionally do not attend college let alone graduate, but amazing people like Scott will no longer have a job with OU. So if you didn’t know, now you do, and there is no excuse to let this occur!

It is our duty as occupants of The United States to stand up in times of oppression and hatred. It is our duty to ensure that all people get the same opportunities and support. It is our duty to let our voices to be heard. Project Threshold, and organizations whose mission and goal is to further the dreams and aspirations of their students, is an amazing organization that has helped countless students. Just a little statistic, Project Threshold has a 100% graduation rate of its students. They are changing the world! Please support and remain active in the discussion regarding its existence and importance.

College Inspirational Vibes

Man, How is it already the end of 2017?

Time flies so fast, but the memories will be cherished forever! Finals have arrived, and I believe now more than ever students (especially first generation college students) need to reminded that : YOU ARE MORE THAN JUST A TEST SCORE <3 <3

College is wild, and the combination of life itself, school, work, family, and everything else is a lot to handle! Sometimes it feels like an endless struggle, but in the end, I assure you, it will all be worth it. I think!

From having to take countless tests to writing super long papers and trying to just get by, I hope that you cherish and love yourself along the way. Your mental health and humanity is more than a test score, and even if you don’t feel like your necessarily in your prime, love yourself as you continue to grow. This is something that I have struggled with throughout my life and I think just started to get the hang of.

It’s okay if you have a lot of bills to pay off. Its okay if your credit score sucks, your life isn’t put together, and if sometimes you feel like you have no clue what you’re doing. It’s okay. It’s okay because you’re human! While putting unrealistic expectations on myself, I found that I was so worried about where I wanted to be that I forgot where I was even at. I am present, I am here, and I am taking the waves as they come.

By simply changing my mindset, I was not only able to see the world in a different light, but I was also able to connect on myself and my spirituality in a deeper way. If you are reading this, I hope that you know that your efforts are not unseen and unheard, and that you owe some love to yourself. Cherish yourself and your being, for life is too short to constantly worry about where you need to be in live. Embrace where your at!

This is me, a work in progress, learning how to invest in myself!! <3

International Bazaar <3

 

I heard it while walking to class. It was music, and it wasn’t in English so instantly I GOT SO EXCITED!!

Shout out to IAC, for this event was not only super fun and heartwarming, but also really informative! While being able to meet various student organizations and people of all cultures, it was awesome to look at beautiful artwork and treats groups brought with them!

In a political climate which is so destructive and negative, it was truly beautiful to be able to see various cultures and student groups spread love and knowledge. Diversity is what makes this world beautiful, and that certainly includes The University of Oklahoma. While meeting such friendly people, and being able to experience new things in various cultures, it was really refreshing and just nice. Sometimes life gets so busy and rushed that we forget to just take a breath and experience the things and people around us and this event really gave me that experience.

One thing that I really loved about this event was the banner! While having the opportunity to see all of these places that various students at OU call home, it really made me realize how big and at the same time so small this world really is. Also, I loved reading all of the positive messages on the banner. People like this remind me that there is hope in the world! Ah, so many nice talks, feelings, and emotions. This experience definitely made me even more excited about studying abroad and seeing this big world!

Thanks to IAC for putting on such a beautiful event! It was great!!

HASA; the place to be!

HASA Family is always there when you need them. Their arms are always open, and they always make you feel at home!

OU’s HASA is home! I’ll be completely honest, sometimes I miss meetings, I go MIA for a while, and I get lost with all the stresses of being a first-gen working college student. It can be rough! However, each time I attend a HASA meeting and speak with some of my HASA family, I remember why I am doing all the things that I do. They remind me that although this journey is not easy, in the end it is so worth it! I am so thankful for their endless love and support!

At HASA meetings, I get a taste of my home community. Everyone makes jokes, laughs a lot, raises each other up, and motivates one another to keep going on this wild journey. They are a support group like no other. There is just something about the atmosphere which this organization brings. It is so warm and loving. Its like giving you mom a hug! <3 You just have to feel it to believe it!

I’ve made some of my best friends at these meetings! Honestly, wherever you sit there will be a person to talk and laugh with. The door is always open, and there will always be people to lean on in times of celebration and disappointment. That’s what community is.

Thanks HASA! For always having great dancing music, funny moments, and the best people you could ever meet. I highly encourage anyone to attend a meeting, for if you do, I bet you would go back!

Here I am with Aurora Martinez, one of the most driven and kind people at OU. Luis Ambrosio, my best friend for life and the smartest man I know! and Chis Coronado THE KING HIMSELF! He is actually Mr. Hispanic OU and SOUTHSIDE ROYALTY. These people make life so great!

At HASA there is always great food! and we love to eat!!

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HASA is my home away from home, and these people truly are my family!

I feel extremely blessed to be able to take part in this organization at OU. They keep me sane and excited about being a college student. HASA is the best!!

Dia Del Muerte Street Festival 2017

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El Dia Del Muerte Street Festival at OU was not only beautiful, but extremely informational and culturally rich. This was my second time attending, and each year it truly does get better and better! With great Latin treats, and experiencing beautiful traditions such as “La Ofrenda”, This event is hands down my favorite at OU!

Maybe you’ve never heard of Dia De Los Muertos before?

That’s okay! Basically, it is a day where families honor and celebrate the lives of loved ones who have passed. While presenting offerings to those who have passed and celebrating their memory, families gather together and  honor those who have gone before them. It is a truly beautiful tradition!

I also love how much this event was promoted in South Oklahoma City, a great community with a very high Latin@ population! I grew up and currently work in South Oklahoma City, so to be able to see so many familiar faces in Norman at The University of Oklahoma is amazing! We need more people from my community to experience events at universities! Just being on campus opens the door to many opportunities for people to not only become interested in attending OU, but attending any college.

Check out this performance below! This Mariachi was great! While attending performances such as this one growing up, couples would dance and it would just be a beautiful site to see! Although this didn’t take place at this performance, it brought me back to when I was younger! There is so much tradition and value embodied in this music, and it truly feeds the soul.

This event was awesome, and the way in which HASA not only celebrated El Dia De Muertos, but also included various members of the Hispanic Community in the event was extremely special. If you didn’t get to go this year, be sure to check it out! There is something for everyone at this event!

Arabic Flagship Talent Show

First of all, LOOK AT THIS FOOD!! <3 and the pretty program!

 

I have never tasted food like this, and although I was a little hesitant, I must say I was pleasantly surprised! I tried (I think it is called this) pita bread, and oh my goodness my life is changed! It was so good! Definitely a great start to a fun night!

 

Also, I had the opportunity to watch one of my friends perform in one of the videos! Everyone spoke so well, it was amazing! I have always been told that Arabic is one of the hardest language, and that if you truly want to learn it, you have to put in hours upon hours of time. I could definitely tell these students had practiced and were on to big things!

My favorite video was the one over The Oscars! Although I do not understand Arabic, I could still kind of get the gist of what was happening. Everyone acted so well, and it was truly funny! It was a great event to just wind down the week!

Also, I really enjoyed watching the belly dancers! They danced really well, and I could see that they had been practicing for a while. As their beautiful skirts twirled, they looked so graceful and happy.

This talent show really made me consider expanding my knowledge of Arabic and Culture. The people who attended the program were all very welcoming, and encouraging. I’ve always heard that Arabic is one of the most difficult languages to learn, and although it does seem difficult, it seems as though there is a lot of support and encouragement from not only the university, but also other staff members and students. It was a great time, and I am truly happy that I was able to attend!

They gave me something to taco bout! ;) LATINO FLAVOR!

When I heard about Latino Flavor, I was instantly excited! I am from Southside Oklahoma City, and trust me, I know about some tasty Latin American food! Let me tell you, the food did not disappoint!

Here is a video I took of a couple of my friends enjoying the food!

 

Also, they had live performances, and even the opportunity to dance on stage with maracas! It was extremely funny, and a bit scary. The music was playing, people were singing, and all of a sudden, someone runs towards you with maracas trying to persuade you to get on stage and dance!

I think it is really important that we continue having cultural events like these at The University of Oklahoma. During my first few days at OU, I felt a little bit of culture shock. I come from a very diverse community, ethnically and socioeconomically, so it was differently different coming here to OU. While speaking to new friends about issues that directly affect my community, I often get wide-eyed glances of shock. Oftentimes, I return a look of confusion, and then realize that they have absolutely no clue what I am talking about. This okay, and understandable. How is someone whose never really exposed to a different culture supposed to know much about it? These are just a few reasons in which I have chosen to inform others of the problems that my community is faced with every single day, and to advocate for all of those who raised me in South Okc.

So,  Latino Flavor was definitely a great time! It was an awesome experience, and one in which I hope many people, from different and similar backgrounds, felt at home and welcomed.

Out of all the things that bring people together, I must say food is a great one!

Find your way at Second wind Cafe

 

Choose where you want to go.

Choose where YOU want to go.

It’s seems like a fairly simple task, but in reality it can be pretty difficult to do.

Thankfully, I was able to attend one of the meetings at Second wind Cafe and I learned a lot about places that I didn’t really know much about!

On the day of the meeting, I got lost but it was a really funny situation! How can you get lost on campus corner? I don’t know how but I did.  I feel like I switch from being and extrovert to an introvert frequently, so in saying that I was actually pretty nervous to go to the meeting and meet new friends. I was nervous but I still went, and I’m so happy that I did.

First of all, SECOND WIND CAFE IS SO COOL!

It’s like a cozy little living room in the middle campus corner, and their dirty chai tea lattes are great!

The moment I walked in I felt a sense of community, and it was great.

CHILE.

ARGENTINA.

COLOMBIA.

SPAIN.

I felt so comfortable talking to all of those great people about my dreams, my goals, and in the end what I want for myself. It was comforting. Sometimes I feel like it is difficult for me to talk about these things with my family members because they don’t really understand the benefits of studying abroad. My parents are both excited for the opportunity, but are really uneasy about me leaving the country.  So rather than speak to them about it, sometimes I feel like I have to hold it in and confide in friends instead. I feel like it is going to be a learning experience for not only myself, but my parents as well. I have to go for my dreams, and I can’t let others choose them for me.

I think its time to be a little SELFISH.

I don’t know why it is so hard for me to be selfish. I just care a lot, and always want to make sure that everyone is happy.

REALIZATION: I may also be a people pleaser. Yikes.

But in the end of my life, I don’t want to look back and realize that I’ve been living for others rather than myself. IT’S TIME KATELYN, TREAT YO SELF.

With that being said, I’m really feeling Chile :0 , but also a little bit of Puebla.

No matter where I go, I know I will grow and learn even more about myself. I’m really excited to go on my own little adventure for myself.  Also, I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity. Who would’ve known that the same little girl who grew up not even knowing if she would ever pursue higher education is now finishing her first semester of college and discovering where in the world she wants to travel? I am so blessed.

I don’t know what’s next

but,

I’m ready.

or at least I think so.

 

A Glimpse of China at The University of Oklahoma

It was just another day.

I was walking out out of zoology, stressed and a little sad, and then all of a sudden……

I SMELT SOMETHING AMAZING

Then I saw it, the food, the teas, the art..

IT WAS A CHINESE CULTURAL EVENT !!

To be completely honest, I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to Chinese culture. I don’t know much, but I truly appreciate all of the beauty it holds.

Here are some cool things that took place at the event!

Their penmanship is beautiful! Their writing looks like art and takes such skill! They let me try and practice writing my name, and it was horrible! It really is a skill and requires such precision. Also, I really like that I was able to capture people talking in the background. Their language is so fascinating. The vowel sounds and the rhythm in which they spoke was so interesting to me.  All of it was very cool!

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They spelled my name for me! So cool!

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She was so patient with me!

Overall, this was an awesome experience! I definitely got lucky by walking upon this event on campus, and it definitely furthered my interest about China.

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Finally, I thought this was really interesting! It says, ” China, like an economic giant, suddenly appears in front of the world and everybody is shocked. They want to know the history and the home of this giant.”

I learned a lot about China, and think others should, too! Its is filled with rich history and culture, and we can all learn a lot from it!

 

Dia De Los Muertos Street Festival; a day of fun!

What better way to start my post, than to show you this? This boy who looked to be about eight years old, danced to his hearts content. He was one of the best I’ve ever seen! Although he didn’t ever speak verbally, he spoke through his dance honoring the mexican culture and audience with his talent.

Did you see this and think I took an impromptu trip to Mexico?Well if you did, you are right! Just kidding, you’re wrong. I’m still here :(BUT, this was a great performance at The Dia De Los Muertos Street Festival right here in Norman, OK.

At the festival there were countless things to take in such as tons of carnival games, authentic mexican and other latin american cuisine, and last but not least the performance of BANDA CARNIVAL. Oh yeah, and there was also a llama!

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The sun was in our faces so thats why we didn’t look the happiest. We were honestly having a great time!

It was nice to see so many familiar faces in Norman! Many people from Southside OKC came out and represented! Although they came for the festival, they also had the opportunity to see the university as a reality. They can attain this goal, too. It was really a nice way to get people out to OU to see what it is all about. For me personally, it was about more than just the festival. It was about bringing other cultures to OU and telling them you are wanted.

SORRY FOR THE FEELS

Anyways, let’s get to the dramatics. Guys, BANDA CARNIVAL was in NORMAN, OK. Let that sink in. BANDA CARNIVAl. THATS. HUGE.

It was great seeing them live. They are great! Overall, the Dia De Los Muertos festival was an awesome event that not only promoted Mexican culture, but also allowed people from other places to see a major university.

Te veo pronto Mexico!

 

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