Alumni Voices: Striving for Excellence

What was your favorite subject and Why?

Although I struggled and felt it was challenging for me, I enjoyed economics class. I felt it was an extremely relevant and important subject that would help me understand the way the world worked. Mr. Altaji, Mr. Stephenson, Ms. Arango, and Mr. Price were a few of the teachers that come to mind on most impactful for me. All of them went beyond the classroom, were there to talk to whenever you needed them. Some of the lessons I still remember and use today. 

Did you participate in any special activities that are memorable? I participated in PANAMUN and ISP's first year in THIMUN. Incredible experiences, very memorable. 

What is your favorite ISP memory? There's so many to choose from. Although not my favorite, but one that was particularly impactful was September 11th. I was in math class with Ms. Pang when we heard the news. We went into another room to watch the news and saw the second plane strike the World Trade Center.  Everyone understood this was a significant moment in time. The following days were somber. Mr. Altaji spoke to us on the importance of understanding an event that was driven by a small group of radicals and to not have anger, animosity or blame towards an entire race. It was very eye-opening and 18 years later, I remember it very clearly. We are an international school, and in times like these, we need to approach these delicate situations with an open mind and not let anything divide us. 

Some of my favorite memories were PANAMUN, THIMUN, UN Day fairs, watching soccer and basketball games against neighboring schools and of course, graduation. Our day to day life at ISP was a blast, we helped each other study in the hallways for those tough IB exams, we laughed and joked. It was a blast.

What were the benefits of attending ISP for you as a student? Countless benefits. I look back and I'm most grateful to the diversity in our student body and teachers, the different cultures and languages. I had never been exposed to people who had lived all over the world. It definitely gave me the appetite to explore it for myself.  Another benefit, now as an adult, is the global network we have. ISP alumni are sprinkled across the globe and in all industries, from business owners to startups to incredible strong women becoming leaders of the industry. Its a wonderful and powerful network to be a part of. 

Where did you go on to study after you graduated? Did you also get a masters? I went to the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL and afterward moved back to Panama and did the MBA program with FIU in Panama. 

How did ISP help get you through college and university? The IB program was incredible preparation for college. Specifically, research and writing papers. The IB program brings a level of expectations and discipline that most teenagers aren't exposed to. When going off to college, of course depending on where you go, but I quickly realized these skills were going to help me become a high performer in college and in life. 

What do you do now? How do you think your education at ISP helps inform what you do now? I am in machine part sales at Caterpillar Inc. covering California and Hawaii. The culture at ISP was always to strive for excellence. We were expected to study hard, work hard and produce quality work. In my career, these qualities have been key when you work in a culture of high-performance expectations. If you have these qualities instilled in you as a teenager, you will carry them with you for life. 

Even though you don’t live in Panama would you consider ISP for your children? Why?

Yes, I would absolutely love to have my children attend ISP if I were to move back. That actually is a goal for us as a family.  I feel my attending ISP was a key element in getting to where I am.  I'm incredibly grateful to my parents for putting me in ISP and I would love to give my kids the same gift.  

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