About

San Diego, CA

Photographed by Briana Gallardo 

 

There is nothing like San Diego, California! This is my home, where I grew up, developed passions, and embraced my culture. I am fortunate to live so close to the Mexico border where we can easily go out to eat, visit immediate family, and take day trips to small towns in Mexico. I am a proud Latina and have embodied my culture into my passion for dance and photography. I am fortunate to be from such a lively city, and experience two different worlds by going to college in the east coast.

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Saint Joseph’s University, Class of 2019

Photographed by Briana Gallardo 

 

Me: “Hi everyone, I am from San Diego, California!”

Everyone: “No way, what made you move to Philly from such a beautiful city?”

Me: “My question to you is, why didn’t you move to San Diego for college?”

 This is the typical conversation that I would have when I would introduce myself in class or an organization here on campus. However, when I moved to Saint Joe’s, I did not realize that I had left such a popular city. I moved to Philly; moreover, moved to  Saint Joe’s for several reasons. I have two sisters, who are twins and will be introduced in greater detail later in this post, who went to a Jesuit college fair. Saint Joe’s stood out to them, they applied, and got accepted. I then had a field trip with my high school dance team, to New York, to dance at the Broadway Dance Center and have a lesson with a Rocket. Not only was this an unforgettable trip for myself, but for my sisters as well. We toured Saint Joe’s and immediately fell in love with the school. We felt right at home and it did not feel as if we were half way around the country. My sisters both made their decision to attend this University and I soon followed.

My parents and I visited my sisters a few times throughout their freshman year. I was able to admire how quickly my sisters adapted to the school and embraced the college life. I looked up to them and saw that I wanted to gain the same experience for college. While I was visiting my sisters, I toured the school and shadowed a student. He took me to sit in his English class, where I had appreciated the small class size and the relationship the professor had with their students. In addition, I received a very generous scholarship to attend Saint Joseph’s which helped me make my final decision. On the other hand, I viewed college as an opportunity of a life time, as an opportunity to live wherever I wanted. I am very adventurous and thought to myself, “When will I ever experience life in the East Coast?”. Also, I felt a feeling of comfort to be going to school with my best friends and return to San Diego once I finished with college. Therefore, I was blown away with this school and knew I had found my home, here at Saint Joseph’s University.

Once, I got to Saint Joe’s in fall of 2015, I became a cheerleader and the following semester I joined a sorority. This school has allowed me to embrace my faith, my passions, and meet amazing people. I have been very blessed with great teachers, mentors, and friends here at Saint Joe’s. I am happy to call this school my home and share my experience with others. I have grown a tremendous amount from being highly dependent on my parents to learning how to cook and take care of myself. I am looking forward to my final year at Saint Joe’s and hope to take advantage of any opportunity that comes my way.

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Cheerleading

Photographed by Kristen Babich 

 

Senior year of high school was coming to a close very quickly and I was aware that college try outs were around the corner. I knew that I wanted to continue cheering in college because that would be the end of my “cheering career”. For this reason, I reached out to the Saint Joseph’s cheer coach and she immediately sent me the try-out information. Unfortunately, I could not fly out for try-outs, so I sent in a try-out video. I learned the routines she had sent me and gathered a few of my teammates to help me execute the stunt portion of the try-outs. I submitted each portion of the video individually and within the following few weeks I had been accepted into the cheer program. I was so excited to continue my passion as a cheerleader for Saint Joseph’s University.

I have always been an active participant in school spirit and activities; from being my school mascot, in elementary school, to being Class President in high school. I enjoy working with the student body and engaging my classmates to embrace their school spirit! For this reason, I became a cheerleader in middle school and have cheered since then. I recently finished cheering for my third year as a Saint Joseph’s cheerleader and cannot wait to be back on the sidelines for my senior year.

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Alpha Omicron Pi

Photographed by Carissa Scott 

 

Alpha Omicron Pi pursues unity and community here on campus. The women of Alpha omicron Pi are offered the opportunity to become leaders in this sorority and engage with amazing individuals. My sister, Sophia, is in Alpha Omicron Pi and I had always admired her dedication and love for her sorority. I knew I wanted to be  apart of this sisterhood when I attended Saint Joe’s. For this reason, when spring semester came around, I rushed AOII and followed my sisters legacy.

I became an active sister in this sorority and ran for the position of Assistant Vice President of Membership Recruitment. I assisted in planning and organizing our biggest event of recruiting new members for the following term. This position lasted a year long, Spring 2017 to Spring 2018 and demanded a lot of dedication and proper communication. I worked with another one of my sisters, Nicole Wells, when coordinating monthly meetings to regroup the chapter in workshops for the upcoming event. In addition, we held committee meetings to organize each night of recruitment to finalize the details from decorations to the order of events during each night. This required an extraordinary amount of attention and creativity. However, I enjoyed every bit of it! My passion, creativity, and personality helped create a successful event that embraced the sisterhood of AOII.

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Meet my Parents

Photographed by Giovanna Gallardo 

 

My parents are driven, passionate, caring, and have given us the world. They have taught us to be strong women that are capable of achieving anything that we set our minds to. My sisters and I have achieved so much throughout our lives and I am confident it is all due to my parent’s motivation and hard work. They have always been involved in our lives from being chaperones in field trips to sitting in the front row of every dance recital. I have been blessed with hard working parents that have taken us traveling, supporting us in challenging ourselves, and doing anything possible to help us achieve our goals. Although we go to school across the country, my parents have remained the driving force of motivation. For instance, my parents flew out to Philadelphia to watch me cheer! They are the definition of “super parents”.

My mom, Alma, is an Occupational Therapist at Scripps Hospital where she treats her patients with the sweetest smile and the best care. She is patient and attentive to her patients. On the other hand, my dad, Julian, is an engineer who owns his own company, Signal Test Inc. He has given us the opportunity to intern at his office during the summers in Inside Sales and as a Marketing Specialist. He advices his employees to succeed in each term and works hard to excel in the market. My parents are very hard working and have set an amazing example of a strong marriage and how to achieve success.

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Meet the Twins

Photographed by Briana Gallardo 

 

Giovanna Gallardo

Photographed by Briana Gallardo 

 

Giovanna, oldest by a minute, is a driven, passionate, and authentic person. She has worked so hard throughout her college career to get to where she is today. She has blown us away with her outstanding grades, being inducted in Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre Health Honor Society, and has been on the Dean’s List for several semesters. Giovanna has not only succeeded in academics, but she has excelled in her community work. She has taken part in APEX, served at Gompers Elementary School, and dedicated her free time shadowing Physical Therapist in preparation for applying for graduate school. This year, she is graduating with a Bachelors Degree of Science; major in Interdisciplinary Health Services, and a double minor in Healthcare Ethics and Autism Studies!

Once Giovanna graduates, she is going to return to San Diego, California and continue her education. She will be attending San Diego State University to receive her Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy. Her hard work, dedication, and faith in God has brought her here today. Giovanna has developed a passion for helping others and lives her life according to the Bible verse from Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord”. She has enhanced these values into her future profession and has excelled in anything she puts her mind to. I am a proud little sister, Giovanna is looking at a very bright future!

 

Sophia Gallardo

Photographed by Briana Gallardo 

 

Sophia, middle child, is a just as motived as Giovanna. She has a bubbly personality and never stops smiling. Her contagious positivity encourages anyone to be the best they can be. Sophia encouraged me to rush for the sorority that she is in, Alpha Omicron Pi. We have grown even closer with being in the same organization. Although we have so many friends within this sorority, we can always be spotted together. We have created beautiful memories from this experience together. Not only is Sophia involved in a sorority, but she also has volunteered at Gompers Elementary school, participated in APEX, and has been a lector for Saint Joseph’s Chapel. Sophia is graduating this year with a Bachelors Degree of Science ; majoring inPsychology, and a double minor in Sociology and Justice and Ethics in the Law!

Sophia will also be returning to San Diego, California to further her education. She will be attending California Western School of Law in the fall. She has worked very hard throughout her life and has accomplished so much. She is passionate about helping others and impacting their lives to better the community. I am looking forward to her journey and success in Law School,we are all confident she is going to blow everyone away with her confidence and drive. Law school, here she comes!