"My name is Genesis Velez and I am a member of the Class of 2017. I have considered Louisville my second home: a place where I learn and open up my horizons to greater things the world of today has to offer. But I didn’t always think Louisville was the place I’d spend my four years of high school. But sure enough, a unique opportunity awaited me here at Louisville. What did it for me was 8th Grade Visit Day, when I got to see the wonderful atmosphere and energetic spirit from the girls. But when I got home later and told my parents about my amazing day, my hopes of attending such an extraordinary school had seemingly vanished when my parents told me that financially Louisville would not be the best fit. However, they eventually did make it work!
"My parents, emigrating from Central America, were raised to believe that women were not allowed to further their education, and were therefore not encouraged to attend college after high school. Nevertheless, my mother instilled in me the belief that everyone, especially women, can break the cycle of ignorance. My parents knew of my wish to attend Louisville and would do anything in their power to help me achieve this once-unlikely goal. Yes, my parents are Central American immigrants, and I will always remember that my education and access to endless opportunities is carried on their working backs.
"At Louisville I was inspired to explore my interests to the fullest extent by joining clubs, trying new sports, and most encouragingly, inspired to do endless self-discovery. One of those opportunities jumped out at me at the end of my sophomore year when I decided to join the Focus Program. The Focus Program is designed for girls to do further exploration in their potential career in one of four areas of concentration: Journalism & Media, Law & Social Justice, Arts, and STEM. My area of choice for a potential career was the STEM program. Standing for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, this program has pushed me to explore beyond textbooks and lectures and has taken me into a hands-on experiential education.
"On campus, there are several clubs that are relative to students interested in the STEM program like Robotics, the Medical Club, Explorers Club, and the Math Club. Our curriculum offers students a deeper insight on the world of science. Courses like Anatomy/Physiology, AP Biology, AP Chemistry and AP Environmental Science are offered at Louisville. Our partnership with the Online School for Girls allows Louisville to expand course offerings for students with specialized interests. Courses like Intro to Engineering, Forensic Science, and AP Computer Science/Programming are some of the classes offered in addition to a student’s face-to-face school program.
"Off-campus, students in the Focus Program can seize opportunities in the outside world. For my job shadow placement, I visited a cancer surgeon’s office where I got to talk to real professionals who work alongside him. I also witnessed examinations performed, read patients' x-ray exams, and even got to know what happens in an operating room during a surgical procedure. Furthermore, the professionals come to us here on campus and talk to us during seminars. For the STEM program, a PhD student working in Robotics at USC’s Interaction Lab spoke about different kinds of robots, how they work and how they will benefit today’s world.
"All of these opportunities were available to me only through Louisville and nowhere else. Louisville has inspired me strive for my best, be the best person I can be and, most importantly, to not be afraid to learn and keep learning even outside the classrooms."