Thalia Chaves and her parents, Elizete and Nelson, on campus. (Lee Pellegrini)

Resilience and resolve

第一代毕业生塔利亚·查维斯(Thalia Chaves)在5岁时第一次将目光投向了不列颠哥伦比亚省

When she was five years old, 塔利亚·查维斯在电子游戏软件的教室里踮着脚尖在黑板上画画, and declared that, someday, this was where she wanted to go to school.

On May 20, 在校友体育场举行的毕业典礼上,查韦斯昂首挺胸地站在离教室只有几百码远的地方,作为哥伦比亚大学2024届学生中的一员,她的公民参与活动得到了表彰, 并体验了作为家里第一个大学毕业生的额外快乐.

每年春天,在美国的大学里都有成千上万的毕业故事, many sharing similar themes, contours, and characteristics. 但它们的共同点同样引人注目,尤其是对那些亲身经历过这个故事的人来说.

查维斯主修国际电子游戏正规平台,是移民家庭中最大的孩子, 他们都没有上过大学,但都强烈认为他们的孩子应该有机会上大学. 她在山庄的四年经历了许多大学生所熟悉的起起落落, and often shared by their families: anticipation; struggle and self-doubt; resilience and resolve; and ultimately, realization of one’s abilities, talents, and vocation.

“我被哥伦比亚大学录取是我和父母一起度过的难忘时光之一,”马萨诸塞州索格斯(Saugus)的父亲说.本月早些时候,她和她的父母Elizete和Nelson一起回顾了她在英国的岁月. “在这里的这段时间里,我真正接受了耶稣会的座右铭‘以人为本’.’ Because of all my parents’ hard sacrifices, 在不列颠哥伦比亚省,我一直在努力利用每一个机会. 我不得不带着我所能做的一切离开这里,去点燃世界.’”

我被不列颠哥伦比亚省录取是我和父母在一起的难忘回忆之一. 在这里的这段时间里,我真正接受了耶稣会的座右铭“cura personalis”.’ Because of all my parents’ hard sacrifices, 在不列颠哥伦比亚省,我一直在努力利用每一个机会. 我不得不带着我所能做的一切离开这里,去点燃世界.'
Thalia Chaves '24

The prelude to Chaves’s BC story was the odyssey of Elizete, a native of Brazil, and Nelson, 他出生在美国,但在回到美国之前几乎所有的青春时光都在葡萄牙度过.S. They met, they married, 就在塔利亚出生前,她决定碰碰运气,开始做地板生意. 这需要很长时间和大量的精力,但却支撑着这个家庭.

在2000年代,Nelson和Elizete的地板业务在BC大学校园内参与了许多项目. One sunny day, 纳尔逊来到不列颠哥伦比亚省,检查他的员工在一个校园建筑的进展, bringing along Elizete and five-year-old Thalia. 伊莉莎特和塔利亚在卡尼大厅的教室里耐心地等着,纳尔逊向他的员工讲话.

塔利亚回忆说:“那时我还很小,但我清楚地记得来到校园的情景。. “My eyes were wide open. I had never seen such a beautiful place before.”

在他们等待纳尔逊回来的时候,伊丽莎特陪着她的小女儿. “我告诉塔利亚,我曾经教过和她年龄相仿的孩子, 我开始在黑板上写字,向她展示一个老师应该做什么. She came up to the blackboard and took a piece of chalk, and even though she had to stand on her tip-toes, she tried to write, too.”

Right about then, Nelson returned. “I saw Thalia writing, and kneeled down next to her and asked, “你想有一天来电子游戏软件学习吗??’ She said, ‘Yes, I do!’”

 Childhood pronouncements can easily be forgotten, 随着塔利娅渐渐长大,她只是偶尔不经意地想起在卡尼的那一天. 但当她开始考虑大学时,不列颠哥伦比亚省是她的首选.

“It all just clicked for me,” said Thalia. “我整个童年都在天主教学校上学,所以这是一个因素. But as I learned more about BC, I felt like this was where I needed to be, because it was all about educating the whole person, and challenging you in different ways. 我以为不列颠哥伦比亚省会有很多很棒的机会,可以帮助我到达任何我想去的地方,帮助我发现我是谁,我在世界上的位置是什么. And of course, today I know it to be true.”

Her parents supported her desire. “With the right knowledge,” said Nelson, “you can do anything.”

Thalia is frank about the early part of her undergrad years. “我有‘冒名顶替综合症’,我确信自己不配来到这里. I didn’t get the same good grades as I did in high school. I didn’t try as hard to get involved. 我大部分时间都呆在自己的房间里,我的室友几个月前就搬出去了,所以我就一个人住.”

纳尔逊和伊莉莎特知道他们的女儿正在经历一段艰难的时期, and while neither had attended college, they saw something familiar in her ordeal. “当我第一次来到美国的时候,我很难离开我的家人,”Elizete说. “It’s a difficult process to go through. We knew we had to be there for her, even just to listen.”

Living close to home helped, and Thalia could come home for a restorative weekend, said Nelson, “but in the end, she always went back to campus.”

Thalia hung in there, finding fulfillment in her classes, such as Perspectives, where she made friends (“Who are still friends,她还找到了一位导师——神学副教授罗纳德·塔切利(Ronald Tacelli), S.J. 她通过不列颠哥伦比亚省全球教育办公室在都柏林找到了一份实习工作, 在乌克兰难民危机期间,她在爱尔兰从事住房供应制度改革的工作. Her self-confidence grew markedly.

她的父母强调寻求社区和机会的重要性,这促使塔利亚担任国际电子游戏正规平台项目助理,并在科科伦房地产和城市行动中心领导委员会工作. 后一个角色对她来说特别有意义,因为“它触及了我最热衷的所有事情:获得机会, 尤其是对弱势群体和可持续社区.”

她在席勒综合科学与社会电子游戏正规平台所的活动将塔利亚的目光引向了未来. 她参加了在埃及举行的COP27气候变化峰会,并担任该电子游戏正规平台所学生顾问委员会主席, which helped her build an interest in climate change issues. Next month, she will start work at the Conservation Law Foundation; eventually, she plans to attend law school.

塔利亚得知自己被选为该大学有史以来超越罗伯特·A的学生,既惊讶又高兴. Sherwood Civic Engagement Award, 这是她上个月在父母和弟弟出席的仪式上收到的.

塔利亚说:“获得这个奖项感觉就像一个轮回. “I’d been active like that in high school, and though it took me a while, I was glad to find my way at BC. I think it’s something I can take with me.”