Meet Our Summer Associates: Eveling Rodriguez
Eveling Isabel Rodriguez Torres currently attends UC Merced and is a member of the class of 2026. A 2022 graduate of Kennedy High School, Eveling plans to major in Psychology at UC Merced.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Is there anything in particular that motivates you as you go through college and prepare yourself for a career?
A: I arrived in this country in 2018 with my family from Nicaragua, and since I arrived, I have gone through very difficult things because of bullying and not knowing the language. Still, my goal was always to get good grades because I wanted to go to college. During the pandemic, I learned about the importance of mental health, and from that moment on, I decided that this is what I wanted to dedicate myself to for the rest of my life. So I applied to study psychology at UC Merced. What motivates me the most is to think of the many people that I will be able to help and what I will add to my Latino community because that is what I am most interested in—helping Latino children and adolescents to know more about mental health and how it will help them. Also, being the first person in my family to go to college motivates me to want to accomplish each of my goals and inspire more people to go to college.
Q: How has Richmond Promise played a role in your education?
A: Richmond Promise has a very important role in my college life because they provide funds for my education year after year, which helps me to continue studying. Also, they are always there giving us important information that can help us in our universities; they are always helping us when we have a question or need to do something important like FAFSA renewal or things like that. They always give us information about scholarships and workshops, and they always try to be there for us if we have a problem or need to talk to someone about something happening in our classes. They also allow us to be a Summer Associate, which is an amazing experience because we get to work with the students, try to help them, and learn more about what they do in the program.
Q: Why did you choose to be a Richmond Promise Summer Associate and what are you hoping to take from the experience?
A: I chose to be a Summer Associate because I wanted to help new students through the process of getting ready for college. I know how stressful that process is, and I wanted to help make it easier by answering questions and speaking from my experience. I was also very excited to work for Richmond Promise and to know everything they do to help students. From the experience of being a Summer Associate at RP, I want to take away the knowledge that I was able to help new students and that I contributed to the college life of students from Richmond. Knowing that I am doing my part in the college life of these people fills me with emotion. I want to finish this amazing experience with very good job performance, knowing how to talk to students and how to help them properly.
Q: What do you want to contribute to Richmond and/or the world?
A: What I want to contribute to Richmond, my home in this country, is to contribute to the community by helping the people in this city who need it the most, like people experiencing homelessness. I want to get more involved in volunteering to help them and help young people see going to college as a priority because it will serve them for the rest of their lives. Also, in the future, when I have my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I plan to help my community with issues around mental health. I want more people to start being more kind, to become more human, and to care about what is happening around us.
Q: Can you tell us about your current college experience?
A: My current college experience has been very good. I have had great teachers who shared their knowledge with me and helped me better understand the classes and learn more about what I am passionate about, which is psychology. As with everything, the beginning was difficult because I was not used to what college life was like, and the first exams were the hardest, but then I found a way that made it easier for me to learn, which made all the difference. Also, finding people who became my friends and accompanied me in this process made it amazing. In my first year in college, I did very well because I learned about my career. I enjoyed my college year and managed to get good grades.