5710 presents student intern and staff spotlights in order to better connect you with the hardworking individuals here at 5710! In these short interviews, we ask them about their background, motivations, and experiences here in Chicago and beyond. In learning about staff here at 5710, we hope to foster deeper connections between the individuals who are a part of the 5710.
Katherine Quintero, a 2nd year in the college, is the newest student intern to be a part of the 5710 community. An international studies major, she was originally from Medellin, Colombia before moving to Miami, Florida at the age of seven. She hopes to ultimately pursue a career that entails a ton of traveling and that forms meaningful connections with people all over the world.
Tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from? What do you consider some of positives and negatives about those places?
I was born in a small town in Colombia called Agua Chica and was raised in the beautiful city of Medellin. When I was 7 my family decided to move to the United States so that we could find a better life. This was definitely one of the major changing points in my life and it was a bittersweet experience. I had to leave my family, my tongue, and country behind but at the same time I was being exposed to a whole new realm of opportunities. Life as an immigrant can be challenging to the point of being grueling, but it also has the potential to open your eyes to the diversity of our world and to the different struggles that people have to face. It has given me a very unique perspective that I know makes me who I am today.
How do you like being in Chicago?
Chicago is nothing like Miami… and I can appreciate that. It is a completely different atmosphere; it is a metropolitan city with amazing architecture. I love Hyde Park with its gothic style and Hyde Park with its quaint neighborhood feel. I love having access to downtown and to a wide range of activities which I would never trade for a school in a more remote setting. I will have to say though, it’s a little too cold, but I’ll make it.
What has been your experience as a student intern at 5710 so far? Anything memorable?
So far I love working at 5710. When everything gets started at night with different events or club meetings, I feel like I’m having a bunch of people over at my place. I love seeing the conversations that take place here and the activities that happen here. Overall, it is simply a great atmosphere that encourages understanding, cooperation, and positivity. I would have to say that the entire experience itself has been memorable as a whole, everyday here simply adds to its entirety.
How do you feel as a student of color on campus? What experiences do you feel you bring to Uchicago as a student of color that other students can learn from?
I absolutely love being a student of color on campus. It’s great when I can share my culture, background, and experiences with other students. Many people hold many stereotypes about South America, and some especially negative ones about Colombia, and I feel that by talking with other students I have shown them another side of what life in these regions is like. It’s fun to talk to people who are not very familiar with Hispanic culture, and in doing so hopefully I'm to helping change the perspective the world holds of Hispanics for the better.
OMSA and the Office of LGBTQ Student Life wholeheartedly welcomes Kathy to the 5710 community. Be sure to give her a warm greeting when you see her at the front desk!