Beatrice Alicea is the Program Coordinator for the Jones-Zimmermann Academic Mentoring Program (AMP)-in partnership with Trinity College and Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA).
Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Hartford and East Hartford. I attended the University of Saint Joseph for my Bachelor’s in Social Work with a concentration in Latino Community Practice. I then attended the University of Connecticut School of Social Work for my MSW with a concentration in Community Organizing. I’ve spent most of my time within the 5 mile radius surrounding the Parkville and Frog hollow neighborhoods of Hartford. I’ve worked with COMPASS Youth Collaborative at Burns Latino Studies Academy, and with the Boys and Girls Club in Hartford. While completing my MSW program I even had the pleasure of working alongside Hartford City Councilwoman, Wildaliz Bermudez, which gave me an opportunity to give back to the communities in which I grew up.
What are your interests and passions?
I’m passionate about a diverse set of issues, especially those involving education, women’s empowerment and the Latino community. I strongly identify as a Latina and I am a first generation college graduate. I take pride in these identifiers because it has shaped who I am, and has allowed me to connect with the students I’ve worked with within the Hartford school system. I am aware and have experienced the implications associated with being a Latina and a first generational student, such as balancing the demands of family, school, and employment. Coming from a working-class family, I learned the importance of hard work and perseverance, and realized that my circumstances do not determine my future; rather the strength of my commitment and desire to succeed. I hope to model this behavior with the youth I work with as they overcome any challenges or institutional barriers they may face.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
When I’m not at work I enjoy traveling and exploring. I love experiencing other cultures and learning about perspectives that are different from my own. I also spend a lot of time outdoors. I appreciate a challenging hike and anything that offers a scenic view and a burst of adrenaline!
Tell us about your work at Trinity and CHER. What does a day in the life look like for you?
Here at Trinity I oversee the Jones-Zimmerman Academic Mentoring Program. I have the pleasure of working with Trinity College students and guiding them to mentor middle school students at Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA). We work with a cohort of students from the time they enter the 6th grade until they complete the 8th grade. My favorite part about my job is continuously strengthening my relationships with both the Trinity and HMTCA students. I have the opportunity to connect with students on all different levels and also gain an increased sense of awareness on the diversity of our students. Establishing a strong, trusted relationship is the foundation for student success.
What else should we know about you?
Ironically, I created my facebook profile at Trinfo Café when I was in middle school. Growing up in Hartford I took advantage of the different community resources available. I regularly visited the Trinfo Café to use the computers, and participated in open skating at the Koeppel Community Center where I first attempted to ice skate (and I use the term “attempted” very loosely!). Trinity College and the surrounding Hartford areas are so rich in culture and community. It’s no surprise I find myself working here today!