Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Luz Cepeda about her goals and what motivates her to stay on the path to success. Something I found captivating about Luz is that she describes herself as a fighter. She has fought to give herself a high quality education at NYU and continues to fight for equal access to a strong high school education for all students. Luz attended a public high school in the Bronx and did not have the same resources many of her peers at NYU had when they were in high school. Luz’s experiences in an under-resourced high school and being raised by a single mother have made her more passionate about the people she advocates for and their rights to a great education.
Luz is currently a CCTOP scholar majoring in education studies at NYU and is also an alumnus of Guttman Community College. Luz thoroughly enjoys all the courses she takes within her education major and always appreciates being introduced to different perspectives on education. During her first semester at NYU, she met two role models that have made an impact on her. Dr. Stella M. Flores investigates the effects of state and federal policies on college access and completion rates for low-income and underrepresented populations, and Dr. Carol Anne Spreen’s research centers on political and sociocultural studies of educational change. Luz is not sure exactly how she wants to tackle the education system, but she knows she wants to improve the education system similar to Dr. Flores and Dr. Spreen.
“Aquí estamos representando. Ya estamos más cerca de los que pensamos!” – Luz Cepeda
Luz is also grateful to the people who supported her during her time at Guttman Community College like her Career Strategist Alison and her professor Marcia Edwards. These are two people that believed in Luz even when she did not believe in herself. They encouraged Luz to challenge herself and take the step towards applying to NYU. Ultimately, Luz’s choice to attend NYU has also influenced her career goals. If she could give advice to a new CCTOP student, Luz wants others to know that NYU is a place where you can explore your identity and figure out what you really want in life. Even though it might be overwhelming at first, you should fight to take advantage of every moment and opportunity.