Jessica Santana ’11 was featured in a recent edition of Syracuse University Magazine. Check her out:
Jessica Santana ’11 gained a broad worldview during her four years at SU. She met people from a variety of cultural, geographic, and socioeconomic backgrounds, traveled throughout Europe as part of a globalization study program, and spent a semester in Hong Kong. She realizes none of this would have been possible if she’d stayed in Brooklyn, where many of her friends live their lives by default—not decision. “Growing up in the projects, I was very narrow minded,” says Santana, who was valedictorian of her high school class and is the first in her family to attend college. “But at SU, I’ve met so many great people who have expanded my understanding of the world.”
Santana nearly took a different path when she learned in high school that she was adopted. Raised a Latina in a Puerto Rican household, she was astonished to discover her biological mother is Puerto Rican, but her biological father is Pakistani/Egyptian. “I went through an identity crisis and started running with a gang,” Santana says. “We weren’t violent—just obnoxious. I came to realize that kind of behavior was senseless and I had to make better choices.”
To read more, check it out at Syracuse University Magazine.