Alejandra adventuring with her dog

Alejandra on a farm adventure at Cornell

Alejandra (front, center) with her acapella group, Hearsay

Alejandra Gonzalez

High School: Notre Dame Preparatory, Class of 2019

Building Bridges Advocate: Brianne Welles

College: Cornell University; B.S. in Human Development (May 2023)

Alejandra is extremely dedicated and driven. She always excelled academically and was near the top of her graduating class. She credits much of her success to her parents, who are extremely resourceful and great at finding opportunities to help her continue to soar. As an incoming NDP student, she was even teaching herself two languages in her spare time (she is already fluent in English and Spanish).

Alejandra was a model student at NDP and feels that the International Baccalaureate (IB) program paired with NDP’s many extracurricular activities was a great introduction to time management. She still remembers Mr. Carman teaching the Cornell Notes system (coincidently, she ended up attending Cornell University), Mr. Buturac’s high standards for essays, and Mr. Chun’s pop quizzes–all of which helped her feel prepared for college and gave her foundational skills for the professional world. She was also selected as a Joyce Ivy Summer Scholar, an honor for only the most talented female high school students in the nation to attend a summer program at one of their partner universities–the most rigorous and selective universities in the country.

As a Cornell student, she was extremely involved, participating in various research projects in the linguistics, communications, and human development departments. She interned with the Cornell Farmworker Program and the Environmental Defense Fund’s Social Cognition team, and was also able to work on asylum and appeals cases as an interpreter with Cornell Law School Clinical Program. She also joined numerous clubs and Cornell’s acapella group, Hearsay, where she recorded an album that will debut this fall.

“Building bridges is one of the organizations that changed my life because it made it possible for me to attend NDP. Without this positive impact on my education, my path to college would have been more difficult and I wouldn’t be who I am today,” says Alejandra. “I’m grateful to Mr. Housey, Pierre Nona, and everyone working with Building Bridges who believed in me when they interviewed me and even now continue to have my back. Having the right people encouraging me made a world of a difference!”

As for the distant future, it’s open. She knows that she wants to positively impact and serve communities that are close to her heart. She wants to pay it forward in the ways that Joyce Ivy and Building Bridges did for her, and specifically wants to support immigrant students at the university level. Personally, she wants to eventually run a 5k, 10k, and then a half marathon!

Future Plans: Alejandra just began a role this week with George P. Mann & Associates as an Immigration Case Worker/Junior Paralegal. She hopes to attend graduate school, law school, or a dual degree program in a year or two after spending some time with her family and developing her professional skills.

Fun Fact: Alejandra loves dogs and would one day love to compete with a dog in a dog show.

How can you help Sonya?

Alejandra would love to make some connections, get some mentorship that can enhance her personal growth, and partner with those looking to leave the world better than we found it.