Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Marshall Center for Intercultural Learning

Campus Life

Meet the 2013 Pre-Orientation Assistants

Posted on May 13, 2013

pic of Gilda in BrazilGilda Rodrigues '14
Major: Religion/Pre-Med
Minor: Biology/Studio Art
Hometown: Boston

The reason why I want to be an Orientation Assistant is because I love helping people; the urge to help others has become a part of me. I also want to help the new students get acclimated with a new environment since I have been apart of the intercultural orientation. I can help these students by advising them on classes to take, transition from high school to college, campus connections and other aspects in order to help them succeed in the new environment because I have experienced them as well when I came as freshman. The Marshall Center has given me support, guidance and helped me build connection with many student and staff and I would love to share this with the incoming students.

My favorite aspect of Wheaton is the atmosphere and the people within it. The staff members and students are very friendly. I love meeting new people and that is something that comes naturally to me.

I also love to sing and draw. I am a participant in College Against Cancer/Relay for Life on Campus and I currently an intern at the Marshall Center.

new pic of KaylaKayla Cuadrado '14
Major: Psychology
Hometown: Bronx, NY

I am here to tell you that I consider orientation to be one of the most memorable times in ones college experience. Not only did I attend orientation during my freshman year, but I also had the privilege to partake in the Intercultural Pre-Orientation as well. It was one of the best experiences I have had at Wheaton and something that I constantly reference to throughout my college years. I did not just gather information on what resources there are on campus from academic advising to career services, but also learned about the personal experiences of the Orientation Assistants that were a part of the program as well as the ones from other students who were attending it. My own experience with the pre-orientation program is the reason why I wanted to be an Orientation Assistant. The OAs I had for my orientation were amazing and they really helped shape my life here at Wheaton. They gave me advice on clubs to join, classes to take, and helped me get out of my shell. I want to provide the same experience that I had for the incoming Wheaton students.

sara maaiki picSara Maaiki '15
Major: Political Science
Hometown: Long Island, NY & Tripoli, Lebanon

As a freshman I also attended Intercultural Orientation, and it was truly one of the best experiences I have had at college! Not only did I make some of my closest friends through the Marshall Center, but I learned a lot about Wheaton during Pre-Orientation. Today I am involved with several clubs on campus including, Interfaith Alliance, Middle East Club, Best Buds and Christian Fellowship. I am incredibly excited to be an Orientation Assistant and to meet the class of 2017!

pic of Jerry JosephJerry Joseph ‘16
Major: Undecided
Hometown: Brockton, MA

I chose to be an OA because last year I attended pre-orientation as well and I really enjoyed it. I got the chance to make friends with some kids from my class year as well as my OA’s. After pre-orientation was over my OA continued to help me out through the school year and I really like that so I decided I wanted to do the same as well and get to know the upcoming freshman class so if they needed anything I would be able to help them like my OAs did for me. I really enjoyed my freshman year and met many people who I now have great relationships with; I strongly advice you to be open to activities and events on campus and try to meet as many people as you can because you never know, later on they might be the ones to help you out and get you connections.

Pic of  Thao HoangThao Hoang ‘15
Major: Economics
Hometown: Hanoi,Vietnam

Coming to Wheaton was the biggest change in my life thus far, moving to a foreign country and diving into college life but I have come to call Wheaton my second home. Besides classes, I am a member of Campaign for Cambodia (fundraising for girls’ education) and I like getting off campus for adventures with Outdoors Club. I have grown a lot in the past two years, and part of my learning experience happens at the Marshall center, where I have participated in Between the Lines dialogue (a diversity awareness program every Friday) for two spring semesters. The center has been a safe space where I get to listen to different perspectives and open my mind. I am happy to serve as a Pre-orientation Assistant this August and to get to know the new students who, given their diverse backgrounds, would bring wonderful new energy and stories to Wheaton.
My favorite quote: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain.

Kimberly Belgrave OA picKimberly Belgrave '15
Major: History
Minor: Secondary Education
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Leaving a city that has millions of people and coming to Wheaton, that has a little more than a thousand people, was quite a transition. When I entered Wheaton as a freshman, I knew that this campus, that I would call home for the next four years, would be my chance to create a legacy that transcends myself and represents my second home. Partaking in the Intercultural Pre-Orientation and attending workshops at the Marshall Center provides great support to me and other students. Attending Pre-Orientation provided me with a foundation I could depend on in my moments in need. I hope from your Wheaton experience, you will be able to reflect back and laugh at the good, bad, and bittersweet moments you have yet to make four, ten, even fifty years from now.

pic of shawn fongeEzeanne Fonge '16
Major: Economics
Hometown: Cheshire, CT
I chose to be an OA because of the great experiences I had during my Pre-Orientation last year. I had already formed friendships with members from my class before school even started which made the first weeks of college easier. The OA's also served as great mentors for me and my classmates. We had managed to make a bond with them that still exists today and I know I can still go to them if I need anything. Orientation Assistants are a key part of your Wheaton experience and I wanted to be one because of that reason. The Marshall Center is a great resource as they provide a place for people of different backgrounds to come together. They have helped me be more open to new experiences as well. What I like most about Wheaton is the fact that it is really community oriented and everyone is very supportive of one another. At Wheaton, I'm a part of the multicultural dance group Trybe and the spoken word group iSpeak. Overall, I strongly encourage all incoming freshmen to take advantage of the opportunities given at Wheaton especially by the Marshall Center as they will expand your growth. Hope to see many of you there!


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