Student Profile

Amanda Gonzalez, SUNY Buffalo State ’16

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As a senior in the public communications major at SUNY Buffalo State, I am in awe as I watch days fly by and graduation approaches quickly. My greatest decisions have always been made on a whim; the best example of that would be choosing to going away to school. I was more than prepared for whatever decision I made because of my mentors at the Expanded Horizons program at Henry Street Settlement. The team there gave me the support, knowledge, and resources I needed in order to choose the most suitable college for me. Going away to college was never in my plan; however, Expanded Horizons offered college tours which allowed me to gain a better perspective of what college outside of the city would be like. They allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of what success is, and allowed me to understand that I could go anywhere and still have great accomplishments. For this reason, four years ago, I made the 300 mile trip from NYC to Buffalo and never looked back.

 Throughout my undergraduate college career, I have struggled with figuring out what I wanted to do academically. I ended up changing my major three times which consequently made transitioning hard for me. I used to be embarrassed about sharing that information, but over time I have come to realize that my learned experiences could be valuable information to others. There were times when I felt overwhelmed with college, which led me to ask my mentors for advice; listening to their stories helped me to understand that everyone faces obstacles. When I would get discouraged and wanted to give up, my mentors would inspire me to keep moving forward. I would like to provide what they gave to me to other students.

By being involved in student organizations at SUNY Buffalo State, I have discovered a passion for helping students. As a student, I am not afraid to say, I have always needed support in more ways than one. SUNY Buffalo has given me the support I needed to acquire knowledge and be successful. Their willingness to support me has also inspired me to provide support for others. It was this sentiment that led me to become a Resident Assistant at the beginning of my Junior year.

Currently, I am the Senior Resident Assistant of a first-year residence hall, coincidentally it is where my very own story began. Through this leadership position I have been able to become a person who gives support and makes a difference in the lives of my fellow residents. I look forward to growing into a professional who continues to provide support for college students and my next step is graduate school! Beginning in Fall 2017, I will be pursuing a Master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Miami University.

Last but not least, I want to share my favorite quote: Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Going to school 300 miles away from home, applying to become a resident assistant, and applying to graduate school are all things out of my comfort zone, but if I did it, anyone can.

For more on Amanda’s passions, check out her blog at bronzedinthecity.com.

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