richieGreetings! I am currently a DePaul University student in Chicago, Illinois. I am originally from Gurnee, Illinois, an oasis between the corn and Chicago metropolitan life. I am currently double majoring in International Studies and Spanish. While studying, I share the uniqueness and my pride of the university as a tour guide to undergraduates and transfer students. No matter what, I have always been infatuated with anything international. As a child, I would watch the global news and would ponder what life was really like some where else in the world. I also began to study Mandarin Chinese at a local acupuncturist office for two years and enjoyed memorizing how to say “I love you” in over 30 languages. Among my life highlights was studying for a year in Costa Rica as an exchange student. I was granted the scholarship and jumped on a roller coaster ride through culture shock, diverting obstacles and life altering experiences. While studying in numerous Costa Rican villages like Pejibaye, Cartago, San Antonio del Tejar de Alajuela, and San José, I became bilingual and created a love for the Latin American culture, food, language and most of all, the people. Not only did I study in public high schools, but I also taught English to rural Ticos (Costa Ricans) and worked in La Marta Conservation Group towards maintaining native plant and animal species. In the past, I had also been active in community service. I was a part of and eventually a group leader for a group of youth mission trips. We would build houses, repair things, clean and work with little children not only in Alaska, Montana and Kentucky, but also outside the United States in Mexico. I was inspired by the poverty in Mexico but also the need for community and assistance in our own country. I currently take action in urban Chicago, working with DePaul University’s Saint Vincent mission of social justice, community service and diversity on Service Days. Overall, I long for eye-opening experiences and helping others. I am addicted to cultural awareness and strive towards learning and understanding different cultures. I have a special gift that is oblivious to others, which is to somehow limit discrimination and prejudice. This is most definitely my passion that I love living towards reaching my goals and helping others seek theirs. I look forward to meeting other people who maintain similar characteristics and ideas. 

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