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Meet Priscilla Gardea and follow her self-discovery journey

Meet Priscilla Gardea and follow her self-discovery journey

Name: Priscilla Gardea

Age: 29
Hometown: El Paso, TX
Current residence: Fort Collins, CO
Occupation: Senior Admissions Counselor, Adams State University
Favorite song: “Everlong,” Foo Fighters
Favorite movie: The Fall
Job I wanted as a kid: Astronaut
Interesting fact: I learned how to ride a bike when I was 23 years old.
MBTI® type: ENFP 

When I was a freshman in high school, my English class had posters of literary quotes all over the walls. The one closest to where I sat was a quote from “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning. At the time, it didn’t mean much to me; neither did the class. Ironically, since then I’ve gotten a degree in English, and it has become a quote with which I strongly align my sense of self. It reads: “She had a heart—how shall I say?—too soon made glad, too easily impressed; she liked whate’er she looked upon, and her looks went everywhere.” I am an optimistic woman with a joyous and light heart. I want to live my life spherically, in many different directions; live the breadth of my life as well as the length of it.

I was born and raised in the border town of El Paso, Texas—a third-generation Mexican American. Along with my parents, my grandma helped raise me and she’s been a huge influence in my life. I have a younger sister, Krystal, a younger brother, Nathan, and two spitfire nephews, Isaiah and Ilijah.

Initially, my parents didn’t want me to leave home to go to college. As I was the oldest, a young woman, and the first to go to college, there was a lot of worry and many concerns. My stubbornness paid off, and I ended up going to school at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado. After changing my major a few times, I ended up graduating with a degree in English and two minors, history and women’s studies. While in college I became extremely involved in campus activities. I participated in the First-Year Interest Group (FIG) program as a participant and a mentor; I served as chief justice of the student body government; I worked as a program assistant for Educational Talent Search (a federal grant–funded TRiO program that works with underrepresented students); I was also a student ambassador and gave tours for the admissions office.

iStock_Graduation hat_diploma_Old text booksAs I approached graduation, I wasn’t exactly sure what the next step was going to be. A mentor introduced me to the field of student affairs. All the organizations of which I was a part were in some way related to that field. And once I found out that I could actually get a degree and have a career in student affairs, I was sold. I spent my last semester of college on National Exchange, studying at Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire, during which time I also applied to graduate school. A year later, I found myself in Fort Collins at Colorado State University, getting my master’s in student affairs in higher education.

After I graduated in May 2009, a dream position opened up at my alma mater—I applied and got the job, and, as they say, I haven’t worked a day since. Every single day, I work directly with students and their families as they navigate the college-going process. Additionally, my job has opened up other opportunities, including working with a non-profit known as Colorado Educational Services and Development Association (CESDA). It’s a non-profit dedicated to increasing student access to higher education, specifically focusing on first-generation, limited-income students of color and undocumented students. I’ve been involved to various degrees, but for the past three years I’ve had the pleasure of serving as chair. Combining that work with my job, my life is very fulfilled with service that impacts our educational climate.

When I’m not working, I try to enjoy to the utmost the beautiful state in which I live. In January 2013 I made a New Year’s resolution to run a race and visit a new Colorado brewery every month. By the end of the year I had collected 12 race T-shirts and 22 pint glasses from various breweries. Favorites include the Hot Chocolate 5K in October that ended with the best hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted and Left Hand brewery in Longmont, Colorado, which boasts a delicious ginger beer!

30th birthday cupcakes

This year I will turn 30, so I’ve made a slight but exciting twist on my New Year’s resolution: I’m working on a list of 30 things I want to do in this, my 30th year. On the list so far are running a half-marathon, visiting a new country, and learning a new skill. I’m still working on it, so if you have any fun ideas, please share!

In my next installment, I share my personal insights into how I use MBTI insights in my relationships.

One Comment

  1. Thank you for sharing your journey! Cannot wait to hear about your next installment and your “30 things” for your New Year’s resolution.

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  1. Cycles of Success | Blog Directory | CPP Blog - [...] Meet Priscilla Gardea and follow her self-discovery journey [...]

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