Alumni Voices: From Panama to Fanshawe

What year did you graduate? How big was your graduating class?

I graduated from ISP in 2016 with a class of around 70 people.

What was your favorite subject and Why?

Although I wasn’t the most genius student, I absolutely loved my Psychology class with Ms. Urroz. I remember emailing her a year after I graduated from  ISP to thank her for having taught me so well. I had an Abnormal Psychology class in the second semester of my first year, and I knew/remembered the material. 

One of my favorite teachers has to be Ms. Marchosky. She was always great to me, truly nice person and awesome teacher. Every time I was in her class, I always felt comfortable, welcomed and I knew I would enjoy what we were learning. It’s complicated to only name one person, but I want to give a shout out to Mrs. Curtis, Mr. Patrick, Ms. Bernal, Ms. Gondola (no bias), Erika Arauz and Jose Rios. They don’t know this directly, but they all have impacted my life and I’m truly grateful. 

Did you participate in any special activities that are memorable?

Performing in two TEDx@ISP is one of the most memorable things. I still look back and say, “I can’t believe I did that.”

What is your favorite ISP memory?

My favourite ISP memory will always be elementary. I still remember the old playgrounds, the fields, and I remember how ISP used to be before any kind of renovation. I remember running, playing, colouring, learning how to read, write and simply be a kid. I treasure those memories with fondness; they were simpler times. 

What were the benefits of attending ISP for you as a student?

Attending ISP, to me, had so many benefits. Growing up in ISP, from Pre-K to 12th grade, not only did I become bilingual, I learned how to communicate. I owe my job to ISP. ISP was able to teach me how to think analytically, problem-solve, be well-rounded (with academics, arts and sports) and taught me to be open-minded. ISP allowed me to grow up speaking English and Spanish, it allowed me to understand what it meant to be a third-culture kid, meet people from all over the world and regardless of them moving away, connect with them. I need to acknowledge how disciplined I became due to the IB. PANAMUN and the IB combined trained me to become a studious, creative and driven individual.

Where are you going to school now?

I have graduated from College twice now. I graduated from Fanshawe College in 2016 for Broadcasting Television and now (2019) for Public Relations Corporate Communications. I am currently working as a Communications Assistant for Fanshawe.

How did ISP help get you through college and university?

ISP helped me because of the IB. The IB gave me discipline, it forced me to discover ways I could study, how to write essays, give presentations etc. and during the IB I was held to high standards. Coming to college things felt easier because I learned how to be an organized and studious person. 

What has the experience been like?

The experience has been wild. I have no other word for it other than wild. I am starting my career in something I am truly passionate about. I have become the person I am today because I grew up in Panama and went to ISP. I am incredibly grateful for the things I lived through that led me to where I am today, rough patches and all.

Image caption: 

Maria Alejandra posing with Fanshawe College President Peter Devlin

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