Ximena has been involved with Steps to Success since the fourth grade, and recently graduated from American University in Washington, DC. STS recently checked in with the new alum and asked her to reflect on her experience with Steps to Success.

“I will always think of Steps as my ‘second home.’ I thank Steps for getting me through elementary school, high school and college. They have always been my number one fan! Without Steps, I would have never gone to American University, or would have applied for scholarships to fund my education. Steps opened many doors for me. Through the Youth Training Program I was given a job at the Brookline District Court when I was 15 years old. It was there that I found the career I wanted to pursue. Initially, I wanted to be police officer and eventually become a detective, but after four years of learning the criminal justice system, I decided to become a lawyer.

I graduated from American University with a major in Justice, Law, and Criminology and minored in Mathematics and Spanish. I am currently interning at the Public Defender Service for the District Colombia assisting lawyers. Steps, thank you for helping me put my foot out the door. One valuable lesson I will always remember from Steps, freshman year, “there’s always time everything, you just have to manage it.” Since then I have lived life with that motto. People ask ‘how do you do it’ and I smile, it’s possible! I can’t wait in 10 years from now to see Steps expand helping other students and for my advisors to see the person I will become. I can’t thank you enough Steps!”