Thursday, April 23, 2009
Paul Quinn College elects first Latina student body president
Yessika Aviles will begin her term at the historically black college during the 2009-2010 school year.
With this year’s elections at Paul Quinn College, history was made when Yessika Aviles became the first student body president of Mexican origin at the historically black college. She will serve the 2009-2010 school year.
As the first person in her family to attend college, Yessika has been blazing trails and serving as a role model for her three younger brothers, as well as students on campus.
While others may use their circumstances to explain why they can’t be successful, Yessika acknowledges obstacles that have confronted her but she does not use those obstacles as excuses to keep from excelling.
“I come from a single parent family because my father passed away when I was only seven years of age,” she said. “I grew up in Dallas and graduated from Molina High School in the top 10 percent of my senior class.”
That distinction made her eligible for the Presidential Scholars Program at Paul Quinn College and she joined an elite group of students who continue to excel academically, spiritually, socially and physically. In late May, she is one of a few students participating in a triathlon, along with President Michael Sorrell, to raise funds for Paul Quinn.
Although this is her second year in college Yessika is classified as a junior. Her eagerness in the classroom or with anything she undertakes is defined in her motto: “Living my life is like traveling in a car. If I want to get where I want to go, I better be the driver and not the passenger.”
Citing her leadership skills, as well as her love for the school, Yessika says she is excited about the growth that is taking place at Paul Quinn and you can expect to see more growth under her leadership.
Yessika works at South Oak Cliff High School as a participant in the Go Center Program. Her duties include helping students complete all of the college admission requirements and financial aid applications. Before working at SOC, she had the same duties at Kimball High School.
While in high school Yessika worked at Pizza Hut as a customer service representative and at El Conejo Buslines in the ticket booth.
“My goals for the future are very specific,” she said. “I plan to receive a bachelor’s degree in mathematics (4-8) education and I will teach for at least five years while attending graduate school. Once I receive my master’s and doctorate degrees I will become a principal. However, my ultimate goal is to one day be a superintendent.
Source: Paul Quinn College