Graduation year: 2011
Majors: Psychology and anthropology
Activities: Latinos Unidos, Ladies of Vital Essence, Campus Outreach for MPB
Post-grad plans: Take off a year to work as a residential counselor and then apply to law school for 2012
Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
No! I never thought of myself as a leader until I was put into that position here at Augie. I had always been a behind-the-scenes kind of girl. Through my involvement in various organizations, I found that to make a difference, you have to take charge and voice your opinions and your ideas for that change. I never thought I would want to become a lawyer either, but my experiences at Augie have definitely made me more passionate about helping people in need.
Your peak experience?
My peak experience has to be the last couple years. I feel like I found my stride and my passion and just ran with it. I love what I am a part of and am happy to share that with everyone I know! If I were to pick one experience, it was being a part of a committee that brought the ‘White Privilege Summit’ to Augustana’s campus in conjunction with the Office of Student Activities.
What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
That I’m actually a good leader! It seems counterintuitive to me because I never expected to be one. I also learned that I am passionate about helping others find their voice, and that I am OK with letting them use mine until they find the courage to use their own.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
First of all, my family. I am the first of my family to complete a four-year degree. Without their support, I would have never had the courage to stay here. They make it a point to remind me every day why I am working as hard as I am. Also my high school English teacher, Mrs. Heisel, who pushed me to apply to college even though at the time I was still an undocumented immigrant. One of my best friends, Alexandra Benson, and her family provided unending and unconditional love and support as I waited to hear about my future in the United States. Finally, my sisters in Ladies of Vital Essence. They are an integral part in helping me find my backbone and my strength. I could not have made this journey without any of them!
Advice for this fall's incoming class?
You will never get more out of an experience than what you are willing to put in. Do not be afraid to go outside your comfort zone because that is where you will find out what you are made of and what you are willing to do. Trust me, many of us have yet to reach our full potential for greatness. So, why not push until you do?
"Sury’s plan is to go on to law school and focus on immigration law. As a Latina and a native of Mexico who came to the U.S. at a young age, immigration issues are a personal, academic and professional passion of hers. I have taught Sury in several classes and have been thoroughly impressed by her — she is bright, thoughtful, a great writer and critical thinker, and her future is bright!"