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  • Isabella Johnston

Vote for Laura Guzman - How My Passions Inspire Me To Be A Better Me

Updated: Mar 26


My name is Laura Guzmán and I am currently a senior at the University of Central Florida. I am a Human Communication major with a specialized track in Social Innovation and Activism. I will also be graduating with a minor in Mass Communication.


So let me tell you a little bit about me, I was born in Colombia but my mom, sister and I moved to the United States when I was just a baby, 9 months to be exact. My dad had already moved a year prior to us moving and was working very hard to prepare for our arrival. My dad for the most part of my life almost always worked two jobs, after I started school my mom took care of kids or cleaned the apartments and houses of the wealthy in the city. I had a very stable and humble upbringing; it wasn’t until my parents got divorced that things got a little shaky. My mom had to put in a lot more hours at work to support my sister and I, but I did not learn until much later how hard she had it. I always acknowledged all the things my parents gave up to give us a better life, a better life than they ever could have imagined as children. I always had an immense appreciation for immigrants and their struggle and always will.


I have always felt a fire inside me to fight for what is a right and to speak up for those who either can’t or don’t have the privilege to. I have encountered a lot of people my age or people with similar upbringings, with parents that have broken their back in a country that isn’t theirs just so their kids have a better future. They seemed to have lost touch with their roots and with the fact that they are where they are because of their parents' sacrifices. Most people don’t care to ask their parents about their childhood and about the obstacles they faced. I, for one, have always been so nosey, always asking my mom questions about our family and our family’s experience. This was so fascinating and always made me a little more proud to be who I am and proud of my family that came before me. I still do not know if it is a blessing or a curse; but I have always wanted to be more. Not just for myself, but for those who have struggled so I can be where I am today. The struggles I experience are different from my family and ancestors.


Since I was in the second grade I wanted to be an author, I told my family that I would write a book and buy everyone a house, big dreams huh? I may or may not still want to write a book; but now I am very much aware how much money anyone in a creative field makes. Much later towards the end of high school I said I wanted to be a journalist, after all these years my passion for writing was still there. While I was in my first two years of college I had made the decision I was going to major in journalism but that all changed during my transfer orientation at UCF. I was talking to the advisors at the Nicholson School of Communication and Media; I realized I did not want to be a journalist anymore. I felt that it was way too competitive. I realized that while writing was something I enjoyed doing, it was not something that I wanted to compete for.


I read up on other majors I would be interested in and decided to go with Human Communication because it was broad but also was something that interested me. Boy was I surprised! It was honestly one of the best decisions I made because I loved all my classes and learned a lot of things that I would later be passionate about. I decided to minor in Mass Communication since I was not going to be doing journalism anymore. I wanted to do something close to it that would fall under the same industry. I chose the specialized track of Social Innovation and Activism, because like I mentioned earlier; I have always been very passionate about speaking about issues that were important to me and making a change.


Over the past couple of years I noticed that there were way too many causes that I cared about and wanted to be a part of and I noticed that was not good for my stress levels. I wanted to help everyone. I wanted to know about every cause there was. I realized I was stretching myself out way too thin. I decided to narrow down my focus to two things that were important to me, sustainable fashion and immigration. Sustainable fashion to me is about creating awareness of fast fashion and the effects it has not only on the planet but on the industry’s garment workers.


The process of making clothing has huge impact and damage to our planet in the careless manner people choose when tossing clothing in the trash. There is also damage to the physical health and well-being of the workers that create our clothes. The chemicals and dyes have a toxic effect on the workers and the surrounding towns. This industry is one of the top polluting industries in the world and it is something that as consumers we can help put an end to it.


Immigration, on the other hand, is a tougher fight. Immigrants share stories about how they have been frowned upon and thought of less than American because of their status. Many share they feel there is a negative stigma surrounding immigration. I think the biggest issue is because people do not empathize and see themselves in the shoes of the immigrant. That is the reason why I am so passionate about issues surrounding immigrants and want to help them achieve more equality . I see myself and my little family in every single one of them and that is what makes me fight harder. They work hard and have the right to achieve the dreams and freedom that American’s enjoy.


I know all of this is all very random and you’re wondering how and why I ended up interning for Intern Pursuit. I was a full time student with a full time job and also wanted to get some experience within my chosen major; but it was hard to find an internship that worked with my very hectic schedule. Luckily I applied for this internship not knowing it would be remote and Isabella called me in for an interview. We talked about all my interests and strengths and she offered me a position to be on the marketing team with her for the fall 2019. This internship is something that I will always be grateful for because I learned so many skills that most employers will expect me to have right after I graduate. It was also great that she allowed me to work from home and worked with my schedule. Later, towards the end of the fall semester Isabella invited me to stay with her during the spring 2020 semester. I happily obliged. It has been so much fun to learn things they do not teach you in school and I realized it is something I really want to do.


My dream is to work with a company or brand that align with my personal beliefs and passions and I hope that using my professional skills will get me there. Marketing and managing social media platforms is something I really enjoy doing and I will take my experience at Intern Pursuit with me anywhere I go.

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