Jorge Arturo Lara Alvarado

Age: 30

Education: North Seattle College. Completed prerequisites to join Seattle University’s Civil Engineering Program, 2017

SU Major: Civil Engineering

Service:

  • Member, NSC Engineering Club, Fall 2017
  • Member, NSC Rocketry Club, Fall 2017
  • Math and Physics Tutor, North Seattle College’s Math Learning Center, Spring 2015- Spring 2016
  • Translator, FaithTrust Institute, November 2015 and May-June 2016
  • Volunteer, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, July 2012

Awards:

  • Alfie Scholars Program, Second Cohort, Fall 2017
  • Bannan Scholars Enrichment Program, Fall 2017
  • Messina Scholarship, Fall 2017
  • CSF Leadership 1000 Scholarship, Fall 2017
  • Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship, Fall 2017
  • Seattle Education Access Scholarship, Winter 2017 – Spring 2017
  • North Seattle College Education Fund Scholarship, Winter 2017 – Spring 2017
  • John Cephas Martin Endowed Scholarship, North Seattle College Education Fund, 2015 – 2016

Goals: Part of my long-term goals is to have my own engineering firm that focuses on creating opportunities and fostering leadership for minorities. This goal goes right along with my mission to enhance my emotional intelligence to better serve my family, friends, and community. Through this, I hope to inspire people of color, the Latinx community and minorities to pursue a career in the STEM fields and empower them through knowledge, leadership, and mindfulness.

Civility:  

To me civility is the essential formula for human and interdependent interactions. Civility is shaped by respect, empathy, courage and the most important ingredient: Love. With civility, change starts from within. Once we adopt civility as our way of life, it creates a ripple effect that, as it expands from our very core, will be able to reach others. Civility goes beyond being nice and listening to others; it must be practiced in a proactive fashion. Civility does not prevent us from disagreeing with others; it encourages us to acknowledge that differences exist, that people come from different backgrounds, have different beliefs, and process things in their own unique way. Yet, by recognizing these differences and showing empathy and respect for the rights that we all have as human beings, we can also demonstrate our resilience and strengths without having to draw upon harmful or hateful ways. When we let go of our bias and prime reactions, when we adopt civil practices, when we choose love and kindness as the driving force of our actions, we can start to find beauty in the most unexpected places.

Bio:

I was born and raised in Mexico City. At the age of 18, I migrated to the United States with the hope of finding better opportunities. Leaving my sister and mother behind was one of the hardest things I have ever done. The distance between me and my family is a constant reminder of the sacrifices I had to make, as well as the reasons why I want to better myself. I believe these sacrifices and reasons are not unique to me; rather, they are common among many of my peers.

I held a full-time job at a private restaurant where I started as a server nine years ago. Thanks to my attention to detail and hard work-ethic, I was promoted multiple times. Seeing my success at having made a life for myself in Seattle, I realized that I could accomplish bigger dreams. Because of my lifelong love for architecture and city landscapes, particularly the science behind the infrastructure that supports us, I wanted to become a structural engineer. I started my journey to become a structural engineer by first obtaining my GED from Seattle Central in December of 2013. Then, I attended North Seattle College where I completed the prerequisites to transfer to Seattle University.

While my artistic abilities have not always been my strength, I have come to find creative beauty in math and science. As an engineer, I am able to express my creativity in the form of design, spatial thinking, and problem-solving. As a member of the NSC Rocketry Club, I have discovered challenges that call for creative solutions, and I have noticed a more inclusive community being fostered under this framework. When designing and building a rocket from scratch in order for it to reach an altitude of ten thousand feet, a cohesive, cooperative, and internally altruistic mindset is necessary.

The years it has taken me to complete my prerequisites have not always been easy. However, I learned to balance the requirements of sustaining my cost of living while excelling academically. And although I have accomplished this far from home and far from family, I have developed a wonderful community that supports me. Many people have helped me along my journey – it is my intention to provide the same kind of support to future generations. I will continue to promote an open and inclusive space with a focus on building community. As a person who embodies multiple target identities, I feel a social responsibility to serve as an example to demonstrate that real change starts from within oneself.