Felicia Baez’s natural curiosity and need to know is the main reason she plans on pursuing a double major and a minor at George Mason University when she begins next academic year.
Baez’s maternal grandparents come from Puerto Rico and when she was young, they spoke mostly Spanish around the house with her mother. “What interested me is that I didn’t know what they were talking or if they were talking about me so I wanted to learn,” she said. She plans on pursuing a Spanish minor, along with degrees in international studies and mass communications — both chosen because they allow her to learn more through travel and other means.
Before she goes away to college, she’s finishing her senior year at Richmond Community High School by taking three required classes and a class for college credit. Baez has completed enough credits that she only needs her Advanced Placement government and literature classes and her last Spanish class to fulfill the requirements for an advanced diploma. She is, however, taking extra Spanish classes to prepare for her transition to college.
Baez wasn’t always this passionate about Spanish, or any of the subjects she plans to pursue in college. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do at first (so) I started looking at some of the things that interest me,” she said. Baez said she knew she liked to talk and she liked interacting with people, which led her to broadcast journalism.
“I love talking to people, I love hearing stories and it would be great to become a reporter at a newspaper,” she said. Baez also wants to travel and join the Peace Corps following college graduation, so she hopes her pursuit of an international studies degree will help with that.
Although it’s a daunting goal to pursue a double major with a minor, Baez and her school counselor, Bonita Reynolds both believe in her ability to complete her goal.
“Of all the students I know, (Baez) by far displays the most positive outlook on her future,” Reynolds wrote in a recommendation letter.
And Baez doesn’t just keep her positivity to herself; she gladly shares it through her community service activities. For the past three years, Baez has volunteered at Mary Munford Elementary School, helping students with whatever they might need help with. “It was nice because they just got so much out of it and I think I got more out of it than they did, just to see their smiles,” she said.
In addition to her time spent at the elementary school, Baez holds positions in her school’s Future Business Leaders of America club, class council and Key Club.
Although she said she doesn’t have a favorite, she does enjoy being the historian for the Key Club.
“I was able to give back to the community and helping and any opportunity I can, I jump on it,” she said.
Through all her activities, Baez stays focused on accomplishing what she’s set out to do to make her mother proud. She’s done so much in her life, I want to be able to be just like her,” she said. “I want to be successful in life and be happy with what I do.”