Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Yanet Bautista ’13

Yanet Bautista ’13, an international relations major, came to Wheaton as a Posse Scholar through the college’s partnership with the Posse Foundation in New York. Posse connects urban public high school students who have exceptional leadership potential with highly selective colleges around the country. Here, Bautista talks about her experiences on campus and abroad.

Spirit of community: I’m part of Wheaton Posse 10, which has been a life-changing experience. I consider everyone in my Posse to be not only my support system and best friends, but also my family. Our bond will go beyond our graduation in May. These individuals are now a part of my network, and I know I can always connect with them.

Growing leadership: As chair of the intercultural board for the Student Government Association this year, I have grown and learned so much about the student body and our Wheaton community. Having this leadership position has made me aware of the example I have to set for future leaders who will oversee the cultural groups on campus. I am definitely proud of stepping out of my comfort zone and taking on the responsibility of serving in the SGA. I have also been a resident advisor since my sophomore year, and been a member of the Distinguished Women of Color CollectiveLatino Student Association, and the Latin dance group Paraiso Latino.

Learning abroad: During the fall semester of my junior year I studied abroad in Cordoba, Spain. To prepare, I took my first philosophy class, about the politics of Spain, and a political science class that compared the politics of Spain with the politics of the United States. I also took some Hispanic studies courses, in which I learned about women’s socio-cultural history in Spain and Latin America, along with the contemporary world history. The study abroad trip was my first time traveling to Europe and being away from home for so long. I loved the Spanish culture—from their eating schedule to their siestas. Everything was new to me, and I brought bits and pieces of what I learned back with me to the States.

Looking forward and back: I’m from Manhattan. My parents are from the Dominican Republic, and I grew up in Washington Heights, which is predominantly a Dominican area. I’m looking forward to potentially moving back to New York to work. I see myself working as a mentor for young girls who come from underprivileged communities, and helping them to aim for higher education. On the other hand, I also have an interest in business and corporate consulting.

Special thanks: I appreciate having an awesome Posse mentor, Professor of Theatre David Fox, because he knows my story and I feel comfortable talking to him. Assistant Professor of History Dolita Cathcart also has been a major influence. I have taken history courses with her every semester since my sophomore year, and she inspired me to minor in history.

Interview by Elizabeth Meyer ’14

Photo by Shiwei Huang ’15