Alumni Spotlight: Melany Cruz Gives Thanks for 3 Ways IDEA Prepared Her for College

National Gratitude Month encourages us to reflect on the people we are grateful for and the experiences that have shaped the trajectory of our lives. Being part of the IDEA Team and Family requires the collective grit and sacrifice of our team members for our scholars’ continued success.   

This month, we caught up with IDEA Edinburg Class of 2023 alumna Melany Cruz who is now a student in the Health Professions Advising: Preprofessional Program at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. In her first semester, she has adjusted to life on campus with the continued support of her IDEA Team and Family and the lessons she has learned along the way. Continue reading for the three ways Melany says IDEA has prepared her for college:
 

1. Mental Resilience 

“ At the beginning of the college application process, I knew I wanted to leave the Rio Grande Valley. Although my mom was a bit hesitant, I had sacrificed a lot during high school to ensure that I would earn a scholarship. I was accepted to College of the Holy Cross and received a full scholarship including the cost of transportation. My mom and I were in tears on graduation day when I put my stole around her, but it was so fulfilling to see one milestone coming to an end and a new chapter beginning. I know that her strength has fueled me and although it has been an adjustment, she has taught me how to get through any challenge.” 

(Left) Melany pictured with her mom and twin sister Emely (Right) Graduation Day 2023

2. Presentation Skills 

“As student in the Holy Cross Summer Passport Program, I was required to present on a technology tool that facilitates communication, and I chose Google Translate. My research was inspired by the ways the app allowed me to translate my essays from English to Spanish for my mom during the college application process.

I attribute my success to her hard work and sacrifice and wanted her to read why she inspired me. Google Translate allowed me to communicate with my mom and my peers to facilitate bilingual communication.  

The dean of my college recognized me for my presentation skills, and I told her how programs like Model United Nations and AP Seminar had prepared me. Had I not been in those programs, I wouldn’t have had the research and presentation skills that gave me the confidence to present in a new environment. I’m happy to say I just received my grade and earned an A!” 

(Left) Melany participating in Model UN (Right) Melany at College of the Holy Cross

3. Team and Family 

“The day I left home I looked across the airport gate and realized I wasn’t traveling with my twin sister Emely. It was an emotional day, but my mom, counselor, teachers, and friends all checked up on me every day to make sure I was adjusting. I take everything with so much gratitude and humility because that’s what my mom taught me. I’m so thankful for everyone, not just my mom and sister, but every single teacher and counselor worked so hard to help me and my sister get to college and get through college. I always try to give them credit because they have shaped the way I think and the person I want to be.” 

College Signing Day 2023

College of the Holy Cross is one of over 55 college partnerships between IDEA Public Schools and universities across the country. View our full list of college partnerships and learn how IDEA supports scholars after graduation here.  

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