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Living Life Like A Breeze with Brisi

Brisi Favela is a first-generation college student who began her TRIO student journey in high school. She has always enjoyed school along with education and always had a lot of respect for her teachers. Brisi even states, “I never thought I would be one but now that I am, I enjoy it even more.” She has always loved art, she thinks it can be incorporated with everything in life. Being a teacher, she always tries to incorporate it into her lessons. Favela is passionate about nature and traveling, she thinks it’s a good escape to self-reflect and relax. Brisi loves her family and dogs, they’re a big part of what keeps her motivated every day. Read on to learn more about this CLU alum!HCCLU: How would you describe your time at CLU?

Brisi Favela: I truly learned a lot about myself. Initially I was not planning on living on campus, but I ended up living here all four years and I don’t regret it! I learned the basics: from washing my own clothes to establishing my daily routines on my own. I loved the time I spent at CLU because of my involvement on campus. I felt the professors were passionate about what they taught which made me passionate to learn. I was lucky enough to get along with my roommates to a point where I didn’t even want to go home; I had established my routine and they were part of it too! My advisors from Student Support Services made me feel unafraid of not knowing what to do all the time; I felt like I had someone I could count on at CLU. Overall, I had a great experience. HCCLU: What was your major and how did you decide on it?

BF: Oh man, that’s hard! Initially I was undecided, then my first semester I wanted to do chemistry because my high school chemistry teacher was an awesome inspiration; then after a few classes I did not see myself doing that for the next three years. So I had to find what I wanted to major in. I always knew in the back of my mind that art would be something I want to do, but I wanted to study something else too. Luckily, and I can truly say, that one of my roommates actually helped me decide. We were taking the same class, a child development psychology class and we would discuss for hours everything we learned and think about examples in our life to a point that she basically told me “why not major in Psych?” and then it just clicked. “Yes!!! I enjoy learning and can see myself in the future helping people. Somehow, somewhere!” And then I declared a double major in Art and Psych just like that, literally before the deadline to declare majors for freshman.  

HCCLU: If you could redo college all over again, what major would you choose and why?

BF: If I could re-do college again I don’t think I would change my major. I really did enjoy all my classes whether they were stressful or not, I learned a lot. The only thing I would probably do different is study abroad; that is probably the only thing I regret not doing. But like my dad told me when I would complain about not having had studied abroad, “it’s ok when you get your career and are stable you can go abroad and you won’t have to study, just enjoy!”HCCLU: Were you involved in any clubs/sports during your time here?

BF: Besides SSS I was involved in the Latin American Student Organization, the only Latino club around campus; we had so much fun incorporating our traditions at CLU.

HCCLU: Why did you decide to attend CLU?

BF: I was lucky enough to be part of the Math and Science Upward Bound program (MSUB) as a high school student for about two years. MSUB helped me in so many ways. I met great people with the same mentality; they wanted to go to college too. It gave me a college mentality so I wouldn’t feel as lost when I actually started. The program directors not only checked up on me, but also guided me throughout the whole process of applying to college and the little things my parents couldn’t help me with anymore. Since MSUB is a summer program at CLU, I already felt like CLU was home. So pretty much, part of me always knew I would apply to CLU. 

HCCLU: What’s your favorite memory from CLU?

BF: I have so many but by far the times I would spend with my roommates and friend are the best! They were my family away from home!!!

HCCLU: What professor inspired you the most and why?

BF: During my undergraduate program my printmaking professor Kristi Colell was probably the one that inspired me. I love to be in a classroom where the professor is passionate about her/his work and what they teach; I wanted to do more and learn more from her. She was passionate about her work, but also a good critic. Up to this day I still keep in touch with her because I felt connected and inspired by her.HCCLU: Since you’re a first generation student, what does that mean to you?

BF: Being a first generation college student means that I had to put in a lot of hard work and be dedicated because no one before me in my family was going to be able to help me. But as a first generation college student, it also means I had to ask for help. If you look for the help, you can find it. There are so many programs available, you just need to ask. I am very proud to be a first generation college student and my parents are very proud as well. HCCLU: Who inspires you the most in life and why?

BF: A lot of people throughout my long educational career have inspired me to do better, be better, etc. But I want to say by far my parents are my biggest inspiration, motivation, and supporters. Even with every resource and program available, if my parents were not there for me I don’t think I would have gotten this far. They have always pushed me and helped me in any way they could. I can still remember up to this day my dad telling me when I was in middle school how I had to get good grades and push hard so I could go to college. His long talks inspired me to get an education and to make sure I got a good career. All of that instilled in my head and made me realize I can and I would do it, not just to make them proud, but for myself as well. 

HCCLU: What’s your current job? What’s your favorite thing about it?

BF: I am currently working for the Los Angeles Unified School District as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing infant teacher. I work at home with babies or children that range ages 0-3 and have a hearing loss. I teach strategies and techniques to parents to help with Language both receptive and expressive. I not only work with babies but mainly with the parents, providing resources as well as more understanding of how to best help their babies. I love everything about this job but mainly it’s the babies! Every baby is a whole new world that’s just starting to learn and recognize its surroundings and family, seeing that progress is so rewarding to me as a teacher especially when parents see it as well. 

HCCLU: What inspired you to go into education?

BF: I initially told myself I would never be a teacher, but I always knew I wanted to work with kids. A couple of months after I graduated with my BA, I got a job as an after-school tutor/teacher in which I had a whole classroom to teach. Surprisingly for me, I really enjoyed it and that’s what got me to do my MA and credentials at CLU. While working on my MA I worked as an ABA therapist for a company; this was a different view of helping children and I enjoyed helping families as well. Luckily for me I had the opportunity for my student-teaching to work with an awesome infant teacher which I will always be thankful for because she made me love this line of work. She was so passionate, gentle, caring and respectful when working with the families and babies that I knew I wanted to do that too. She inspired me to do what I do and I tried to learn as much as I could from her. 

HCCLU: What song would you say describes your life and why?

BF: This is a hard one. I love music but I guess if I had to pick right off the top of my head it would be “Soy Yo” by Bomba Estero. First of all, the music is my type of beat. Second of all, it states that it doesn’t matter about everything else going on because you are you, and to continue to be yourself. I just like it; it’s very uplifting! 

HCCLU: What advice would you give to current undergrad students?

BF: I would say that no matter what you choose to do right now, don’t be afraid to just do it. Literally! Sometimes we get so stuck on “will this be ok? Should I do that? What if something goes wrong?” Whatever class, career, job, internship, interview you want to do or are planning to do, just go for it. In life, our experiences make us better! I never thought when I was in college as an undergraduate student that I would be a Deaf and hard of hearing teacher, I mean I studied Art and Psychology but because of the experiences I had with my two jobs and my decision to eventually study in that field I ended up where I am. Every experience got me a little closer to where I am right now. I learned what I didn’t like, what I liked, what I couldn’t handle, and how far I could handle things. Don’t be afraid to do it, try it out! Nothing is forever (not even your loans! Lol). Right now you are young and can always change and do something you truly want to do. But you can’t know unless you try it first!

Leslie Madrigal

Cal Lutheran '20

Hello, my name is Leslie Madrigal. I am a senior at Cal Lutheran double-majoring in Criminal Justice and Spanish with a minor in Ethnic Studies! Besides being a part of Her Campus, I am also the Co-President for the Latin American Student Organization, Vice President of My Generation My Fight, and Secretary for the Criminal Justice Student Association. I work on campus at the Office of the President as well as having an off campus job in retail. And I volunteer for the Safe Passage Program through the Criminal Justice Department.
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