Face the unknown with open arms 

NAME: Yecenia Andrade      
HOMETOWN: Laveen, Arizona
MAJORS: Public health, Spanish

INVOLVEMENT ON CAMPUS: President of ConnecTED, TEDx, Residential Assistant, Student Manager in Dining Services, Service Trips

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE WARTBURG: I knew of Wartburg through a nonprofit organization called “AGUILA,” which caters to first-generation Latinx students in Arizona. Coming from an urban and diverse background, I knew Wartburg would challenge me in several different ways … some of which were totally unprecedented but meaningful nevertheless. Wartburg seemed like the perfect place to face adversity and grow from such experiences, while also gaining the college experience in a personable manner.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS AFTER GRADUATION: I do not have the details to my post-grad life just yet, but I plan to give myself one to two years of work experience before I continue expanding my public health education, especially in the areas of community and environmental health. Eventually, I would love to operate a non-governmental organization and to continuously serve marginalized communities through the works of public health.  

HOW DID WARTBURG PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR NEXT STEP: My Wartburg experience has taught me to face the unknowns of life with open arms and to simply trust in myself and my capacity to persevere in any circumstance.

Yecenia Andrade

DID YOU DO ANY INTERNSHIPS WHILE AT WARTBURG: During my undergrad experience, I have completed three internships. My first internship was with the nutrition team at Metro Caring in Denver, Colorado, where I created lesson plans for Spanish nutrition and cultural cooking classes along with collaborating with the YMCA on managing a Spanish diabetes prevention program. Then during the summer before my third year, I participated as a scholar in a fellowship at Louisiana State University in New Orleans where I had clinical rotations along with lectures and other responsibilities involving health disparities and cross-sectional health professions. Then during my winter semester of 2019, I interned as a public health and bilingual intake specialist at La Luz Centro Cultural located in Hampton, Iowa. There, I researched about oral health, breast cancer, and cervical cancer.  

DID YOU DO ANY RESEARCH WHILE AT WARTBURG: For my Spanish Capstone, I researched about the intersectionality between the U.S. public health sector and the acculturation processes of Mexican immigrants and how each of these areas influence the generational health in Mexican-Americans. I also conducted research about oral hygiene, cervical cancer, and breast cancer in Hispanic rural communities in Iowa during my internship experience at La Luz Centro Cultural in Hampton.  

DO YOU HAVE ANY MENTORS ON CAMPUS: Lorinda Sheeler has been a great mentor of mine. She was my public health advisor before she left Wartburg at the end of Fall  Term 2019. Zak Montgomery and Krystal Madlock also play an integral role in my support system on campus. Despite being busy, they always make themselves available when I most need them. Additionally, they are very genuine in wanting to see me succeed in both my personal and professional endeavors.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS: My favorite class took place at Wartburg West and was called “Sustainability in Urban Settings.” The course taught us about the different sustainable practices and methods that may exist in a variety of urban settings. It also helped us recognize that sustainability envelopes social, economic, and environmental areas. Additionally, we had a lot of field trips and guest speakers, which helped further enhance my learning experience and overall satisfaction with my experience with this particular course.

WHAT WAS YOUR MOST DIFFICULT CLASS: I had the most difficulty in Biology 151, as it was the most demanding course I was taking during my first semester being at Wartburg. Trying to accustom to my new life at Wartburg, along with being attentive to this challenging entry-level course, was not easy to say the least.

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU NEVER IMAGINED YOU WOULD DO BEFORE COMING TO WARTBURG: I’ve done a lot of things during my time as a Wartburg student that I never could’ve anticipated. However, I think the top on the list would probably be attending a “country-themed” cycling class in The W. 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WARTBURG MEMORY: A favorite Wartburg memory of mine is of the Culture Show that took place my first year at Wartburg. Being able to celebrate my culture along with so many others was a wonderful experience that re-energized my spirit and capacity to continue forth with my college journey.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: A friend once told me, “We’re always going to have problems—we find happiness from engaging the problems we like to solve.” I advise students to be mindful of their own path to happiness and to be open minded to explore what is unknown to them in order to further challenge themselves and connect with those around them.

WHY IS WARTBURG WORTH IT: Wartburg was worth it for me due to the lifelong friendships I have made. I have a place to call home in almost every continent. I feel very privileged to have experienced this milestone with such amazing and beautiful individuals.