Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for fall 2019 commencement.
Two weeks before the start of the fall 2016 semester, Ayeleth Aragon came to Arizona State University as part of the very first Early Start cohort in the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics. Three and half years later, Aragon is graduating a semester early with her BS in family and human development and hopes to enter a career helping children in need.
Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?
Answer: When I was scrolling through the list of majors I was not sure exactly what area I wanted to go into. I read a couple of descriptions and when I got to family and human development, it caught my attention. I am the oldest of seven children and the first thought that ran through my head was that with this major I would be able to help my siblings out a lot better than I already was. Once I started taking major-related courses I noticed that I really enjoy this major and it is perfect because I have always wanted to work helping out others.
Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?
A: One of the first things I learned when I came into college was about the two different mindsets, growth and fixed mindset. I always thought that if you were good at something then you were good and there was nothing you could do about it. My professors and this major let me see things differently and helped me shift my mindset and now I work hard at the things I did not think I could do before.
Q: Why did you choose ASU?
A: When it came to choosing a college after high school, my main focus was choosing a school I could afford … I applied to many schools and was accepted to all of them, but in the end, I had my mind set to a community college that I could pay on my own with hard work. One day my counselor called me in and an ASU representative was there. We talked about finances and they helped me make it possible to go to a university close to home that wanted to help me to go to school and keep succeeding.
Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?
A: I have two professors that helped me a lot while I have been here; Dr. Stacie Foster and Dr. Amy Reesing. These two professors let me see the more positive side of life and they truly cared about my future. When I needed help or just someone to talk to, I could walk into their office hours and ask for help. They both had a lot of faith in me even when I thought I was not doing as well as I wanted to.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?
A: A piece of advice I would give to those who are still in school is to manage your time wisely. I struggled with that quite a bit. Also, do not give up on something that looks difficult. With hard work and dedication, you can achieve what you want.
Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?
A: I really liked sitting outside and enjoying the view while I sat and read my books. One of my favorite spots was the benches outside the Cowden building.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: Right now, I am working as an assistant teacher for a preschool and after college I would like to continue working with children. I plan on going back to school but I will take a short break to work first.
Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?
A: I would like to spend that money helping children who do not have the resources we have here in the U.S. I took a course named Gender, Culture and Development and we read a book about how women and children live in Africa. They were very descriptive about the food they ate and how many children are not nourished the way a child should be.
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