2008-2009 Honor Roll Student Profiles

2008-2009 Honor Roll of Donors: Student Profiles

Sydney Cross ’10

Sydney Cross ’10 is an international affairs major from St. Louis, Missouri. She came to Washington for politics and has taken full advantage of all that the city has to offer. Cross, this year’s St. Catherine Medal awardee and president of the Student Government Association, will graduate from Trinity after just three years.

Yet, even with the rigorous class schedule required to finish a year early, Cross has found the time to intern for political campaigns and organizations across the city. She is currently part of the Student Career Experience Program at the U.S. Department of State, a prestigious program where college students are offered paid positions at the State Department, work 16 to 40 hours per week while pursuing their degrees, and then are offered positions in the permanent civil service after graduation.

Cross’s father recently told her, “I don’t think you could have picked a better place to go to college. The people you’ve met, the places you’ve gotten to go…you wouldn’t have gotten to do that anywhere else.” Cross adds, “I love my professors and the small classes at Trinity. The teachers know me and I know them. Of course it’s been hard at some points, but overall, I’ve had a fantastic experience. I look forward to staying involved with Trinity as an alumna.”

Moraima Zaida ’12

Moraima Zaida ’12 is one of Trinity’s first two Kendrick Scholars (read more about the Kendrick Scholarship program and fellow Kendrick scholar Reyna Trinidad on page 26). Originally from Cuba, Zaida moved to Apopka, Florida, with her mother and younger brother to rejoin her father who had been in the United States for the past four years. That was April of Zaida’s junior year of high school and at the time she spoke only a few words of English. By her senior year, Zaida was fully fluent in English, was taking advanced placement classes and scored very high on the FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test).

As a recent immigrant, Moraima did not know how to go about applying to college. But she was committed to her studies, was a leader in the Hope CommUnity Center and had an intense drive to succeed. Sr. Ann Kendrick ’66 saw amazing potential in her. When Kendrick told Zaida that she had arranged for a full scholarship to Trinity, Zaida’s only initial reaction was: “Wow!”

Now, Zaida has a little more to say about attending Trinity: “For me, the most important thing that I have found here is that Trinity is like a family. You connect to the professors, staff and your fellow students. You feel like you’re at home. I am so blessed that I am at this school.”

Zaida is a biochemistry major who currently intends to go on to dental school. She explains, however, that her major, “gives me more options. I could go into pharmacy, medical school, dentistry, research….I will have options after graduation.” It isn’t all science all the time for Zaida. She says, “At Trinity you get a well-rounded education. I am getting a taste of lots of different subjects.”

Jaime Temple ’12

Jaime Temple ’12 will be a doctor someday. Anyone who talks to her for more than a few minutes cannot doubt the certainty of that statement. At a college fair during her senior year of high school, Temple stopped at the Trinity table. “They totally sold Trinity to me. It was exactly what I wanted: diverse, close but still far enough from home, small, amazing faculty, incredible role models within the alumnae….” A scholarship sealed the deal and Temple matriculated.

Temple says that she truly enjoys the courses required for her biochemistry major. “I guess I’m just a nerd,” she explains with a laugh. Her passion for the course work goes deeper than the subject matter, however. For Temple, the work is personal. She notes, “I’ve seen a lot of illness in my family and am very interested in how medicine works in different bodies. I want to do research, specifically for cures for brain cancer.”

Last summer, Temple was one of four Trinity student leaders chosen to attend the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders, a three-day conference co-sponsored by the AAUW (American Association of University Women) and NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education). The Trinity Alumnae Association funded the students’ participation in the conference. After the conference, Temple reflected, “I learned the strength of a leader is shown when one is not afraid to admit defeat, admit falsehood, or even to ask for help. Many techniques, tips, and stories from these female mentors inspired me to continue to go after my dreams wholeheartedly and to share with my colleagues the things that I learned and grew from.”

Temple is incredibly grateful to be at Trinity. “If that scholarship wasn’t available to me, I wouldn’t be able to get such a good education. Trinity has provided me with everything I need and my professors are amazing. I’m not one of a million students on a large campus. Here I have people who truly care for me.”

The Kendrick Scholars Program: Eagles Take Flight

One afternoon at the Hope CommUnity Center in Apopka, Florida, Sr. Ann Kendrick ’66, a Sister of Notre Dame, spoke to a group of young women about their potential. She used a metaphor about an eagle egg that was mistakenly placed among chickens. When that eagle hatched, it did what it saw its fellow birds doing: it kept its head down and pecked at the ground. But one day, Kendrick continued, that eagle looked up and saw the big, beautiful sky. Soon, someone told that bird that she is actually an eagle: that she can soar. The eagle might have been scared, she might have been overwhelmed, but slowly she started to believe it. She said to herself, “Maybe I am an eagle.” Then one day she spread her wings and she flew. And that eagle finally realized that she had the capacity and the intelligence all along to do something more than she ever thought was possible.

That afternoon, sitting at the Hope CommUnity Center, Reyna Trinidad said to herself, “I think I am an eagle. I think I have more inside of me than anyone else knows. I am going to make a difference in my life, in my parents’ lives. I am going to set an example for my siblings.”

And Trinidad flew.

Reyna Trinidad ’12 and Moraima Zaida ’12 (profiled above on this page) are Trinity’s first Kendrick Scholars. The program initially envisioned by President Patricia McGuire when Trinity honored Sr. Ann Kendrick in 2004 at Commencement has become a reality. Kendrick is co-founder of the Farmworker Ministry in Apopka, Florida. Thanks to the hard work of Kendrick and her fellow SNDs, the farmworkers and their families in Apopka have a network of well-staffed health clinics, a credit union to protect their hard-earned wages, education and family services, and advocacy for policy change.

The goal of the Kendrick Scholars program is to open a gateway for young women from the Apopka farm worker community to attend Trinity. In August 2008, upon the recommendation of Kendrick, Trinity welcomed Trinidad and Zaida, the first two Kendrick Scholars, to campus.

The Kendrick Scholars receive full scholarships to attend Trinity. This year, generous alumnae from the classes of 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1968 made gifts to fund the Kendrick Scholars. Trinity has made the commitment to support Trinidad and Zaida for four years and hopes to invite additional Kendrick Scholars in future years, depending on the availability of donor support for this program.

Trinidad has thrived at Trinity. She is taking full advantage of all that Washington, DC, has to offer, is involved on campus and works hard at academics. She notes that the relationships she is building with the Trinity faculty are precious.

Trinidad says, “I will never forget that day at the Hope CommUnity Center. Sr. Ann changed my life. Now, when things are tough, I say to myself, ‘I can do this. I am an eagle.’” She continues, “I cannot believe how God has worked in my life. He has placed people in my path who have made a huge, huge difference. I am incredibly grateful.”

This past summer, Trinidad and Zaida were two of three Trinity students who were awarded the Sr. Seton Cunneen ’65 Fellowships. They returned to the Hope CommUnity Center to work with the high school students there. Trinidad explains that it was both exciting and overwhelming to go back to Apopka after their first year at Trinity – they had learned so much and had so many experiences they wanted to share. They decided to create a Writing Camp to help the high school students prepare for the challenges of writing at the college level. Trinidad says it was amazing to watch the students grow in their speaking and writing ability. It was also exciting to work with Sr. Ann Kendrick in a new capacity, as a co-worker and team member rather than student and mentor. Zaida adds that it was especially rewarding to serve as a role model for students at the Hope CommUnity Center. After the camp, many parents thanked Trinidad and Zaida for serving as such good examples and encouraging their children.

Trinity – thanks to the generosity of the Kendrick Scholarship donors – is making a difference for these women in a way that they and their families could have only imagined and hardly dared hope for. Thank you for your support!

Cee Alexander ’12

Cee Alexander ’12 feels like Trinity chose her rather than the other way around. From the day she got on Trinity’s mailing list at a college fair, each piece of mail or e-mail she received from the university truly resonated with her. Living in the Washington area, Alexander then started to notice mentions of Trinity in the newspaper and in advertisements. “Everything I saw and read about Trinity gave me such a good vibe,” Alexander explains, “I am sure I made a good decision to attend Trinity.”

Alexander has always been interested in politics and decided that a political science major would be a great base for her intention to go on to law school. As an amateur photographer, early on she dreamed of being an entertainment lawyer. Now, however, Alexander has her sights set on a different path within the legal profession. Several years ago, Alexander’s young cousin was murdered just before her fourth birthday. The murderer confessed but was sentenced to only five years in prison. After witnessing that injustice, Alexander decided to focus on criminal law. She would love to be a judge or district attorney one day. “People tell me they can see me succeeding: I’m very aggressive!”

As a commuter, Alexander says it is a little harder to be involved in campus life. She wishes Trinity had a good gathering spot for commuters to hang out, study, and get to know each other between classes. The learning communities have helped, though, “We bonded during orientation and have maintained those ties.”