"Home Away from Home"

Featured Alums 2017

Jade Vásquez WS’12


Majors: International Relations, Spanish and Hispanic Studies
Minors: Political Science, Latin American Studies
Campus/Community Involvement: Teaching Fellow (Spanish), Admissions Tour Guide, LAO (secretary), Big Brother Big Sisters Coordinator
Study Abroad: Spain (Madrid), Educador/Peru

Jade’s Journey to Achieve her Current Position

Jade is working as a Program Associate for the International Network for Public Schools, a nonprofit organization that designs public high school curriculums for recently arrived immigrants and provides professional development skills to the educators serving the immigrants. Prior to this position, Jade served in the Peace Corps from 2013-2015 in El Salvador working as a Youth Development volunteer. These few years spent in El Salvador was during the major refugee crisis, so Jade frequently dealt with students independently fleeing to the United States to make a life for themselves. After working with children in the Salvadorian school systems and learning about project management, Jade felt that the perfect next step career-wise would be at the International Network for Public Schools. She was able to apply her skill set as a Program Associate and is now doing a lot more data analysis to measure the impact of the organization’s work on students and educators.

Preparation for Jade’s Current Position

Not only does Jade reflect on her time working in the Peace Core, but also believes her four years at Hobart and William Smith Colleges helped prepare her for her current position. During her time at HWS, Jade studied abroad in Spain and Ecuador/Peru. While she was abroad she volunteered for various organizations, including an education organization in Spain which provided young immigrants with school programs. This experience in particular made Jade want to study abroad again in a country where majority of these students were from – andEcuador/Peru was the perfect option.

Jade loves traveling, but makes a point to spend a significant amount of time in a country to learn the culture. After spending two semesters abroad, she attended a Peace Core information session at HWS, which helped push Jade in this direction.

Jade feels very fortunate to have attended HWS and values her time and experiences during her four years in Geneva, NY. Because of her experience as an undergrad student, she wanted to help with youth and be somebody that could provide educational opportunities to youth that may not have had the same sort of opportunities.

Jade’s Future Career Goals

Jade’s biggest goal is attending grad school for public policy in order to gain all the skills to be a more effective leader. She is particularly interested in immigration policy, foreign policy and criminal justice, and hopes to learn even more after attending grad school.

Advice for HWS Students

Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and try new things! Always keep an open mind, and study abroad if you can (even if you don’t have a plan to have a career in international affairs – you’ll learn a lot about the world and yourself). Most importantly – try new things!