Lisa Trejo’s first visit to Binghamton University was the starting point on a path that has led her to reach out to both prospective and current students.
“When I walked on campus for the first time, I felt like I belonged here,” she said. “My tour guide was so friendly and made me interested in going here.”
Taking part in summer freshman orientation reaffirmed her decision.
“The orientation advisors were regular students helping incoming freshmen,” she said. “I thought that was great.”
The experiences affected Trejo so much that the 20-year-old junior from Carmel became both a tour guide and an orientation advisor.
“I want to be the face that students see when they’re interested in coming here,” she said.
As an orientation advisor, Trejo spent the summer session assisting students with their schedules and helping them bond with their fellow freshmen. The work also proved beneficial for Trejo, who learned more about the campus and its offices while forming friendships with other advisors.
“It was one of my best summers,” said Trejo, who exudes enthusiasm. “All 20 advisers were like a big family. We got to know so many students. It was an amazing experience.”
Marinda Souva, assistant director of New Student Programs, said Trejo has an energy level and positive attitude that shines.
“She’s always happy about things,” Souva said. “She obviously cares about her students and works hard to make sure they are comfortable and know their information. And she does it in a way that is approachable.”
Trejo’s assistance isn’t limited to just new students. She is a resident assistant in Roosevelt Hall, a peer mentor in the Emerging Leaders Program, a teaching assistant for Spanish lecturer James Hassell and a group exercise instructor at FitSpace.
The Spanish major also has spent three semesters volunteering at local elementary schools. She worked with kindergarteners and second-graders at Horace Mann Elementary School in Binghamton last year and is now aiding second-graders at Vestal Hills Elementary School in Vestal.
Helping young children with math, reading, shapes, colors and numbers has given Trejo a head start toward her goal of becoming an elementary school teacher. The children have been appreciative too, she said, recalling her last days with second-graders at Horace Mann.
“At the end of the year, they made me a basket, wrote letters and painted flowers,” Trejo said. “When I read the letters, I started crying because I didn’t realize I had such an impact on them. They’ve had an impact on me, too.”
Trejo, whose parents are from El Salvador, hopes to spend next summer in Spain to take classes and improve her Spanish skills. After graduation, she wants to stay at Binghamton University to pursue elementary education.
“It’s been amazing so far,” Trejo said of her time at Binghamton. “I’ve gotten involved in things that I’m passionate about. They are all experiences that I wouldn’t change. My tour guide and orientation advisor impacted me enough where I wanted to make a difference as well and in my own way.”