By ASHLEY MATHEW
Special to the NEWS
Jessica Morales always dreamed of attending an Ivy league school. From a young age, she told her parents that she was going to get accepted into a top-tier school and experience life outside of Texas.
The San Benito native made her dreams a reality when she was accepted into Cornell University’s Class of 2023 last year. The IDEA San Benito graduate was the first student in the campus’s history to be accepted into an Ivy League school. She is currently majoring in Industrial and Labor Relations and intends to pursue a Juris Doctor Degree (J.D.) in order to become an Immigration lawyer.
The journey to get where she is now has been anything but easy. As a first-generation student, the move from the Rio Grande Valley to Ithaca, New York was quite the culture shock.
“I was accepted into a pre-freshman program and spent the whole summer before my first semester at Cornell taking classes,” explained Morales.
The transition academically was challenging as well.
“The whole point of the pre-freshman program is to help minorities and first-generation students acclimate to an Ivy League institution and its rigor,” said Morales.
Morales was lucky enough to be flown out to visit the Cornell campus before she decided it was the place she wanted to spend the next four years studying. She was always interested in leaving Texas and trying something different. Having the chance to tour the campus and learn what the school had to offer allowed her to fall in love with Cornell.
“Cornell cares about change and impacting the world. We as students see how what we are doing today can impact what we are doing tomorrow,” Morales said.
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