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“CAMD and the issues of identity are extremely important to me and are centered around everything I do at Andover.”

Alba - Upper Lawrence, MA

For Alba, Phillips Academy has been a gateway for new experiences and ideas. “I’ve really grown here,” she reflects. “Lawrence is a homogenized community. Here [at Andover] everyone is so different, not just with race but religion, sexuality, gender—it’s just been very eye opening. These conversations just didn’t happen at home. I wasn’t challenged in these subjects at home.”

Alba has been a strong member of several CAMD clubs (Af-Lat-Am, Alianza Latina, Out of the Blue) and cites CAMD dean Linda Griffith as her greatest mentor who is “amazing” with a “wealth of knowledge.” “CAMD and the issues of identity are extremely important to me and are centered around everything I do at Andover,” Alba says. “I feel it’s my responsibility as a full financial aid, Hispanic student to take my experiences from Lawrence and bring them to the classroom at Andover.”

One of Alba’s passions is giving back. Alba has found her own love of mentorship by volunteering at Si Se Puede, an intimate tutoring center in Lawrence, and serving as a dorm prefect. “Prefecting is the best experience at Andover,” she says. Her own experience with diverse prefects inspired her to become one. “Living in the dorm as a local boarder is the best of both worlds. I can go home and see my mom when I want, but I also have the independence of living on my own. My best friend is from France. We met junior year and have lived together ever since.”

This past spring while rowing with crew, Alba had a moment realizing just how far she’s come. “It’s funny. We were practicing for championships and usually we row down the river, but instead that day we went all the way up the river in the opposite direction,” says Alba. “I could see the old apartment building I use to live in [in Lawrence]. It was like two worlds colliding. I had driven over the Merrimack River all the time but never once saw a crew boat. It was a really cool time for reflection and it motivated me to row even harder.”