Senior Profile: Alyssa DeRaymond (Hispanic Studies, ’18)

DeRaymondBefore coming to William and Mary, Spanish had always been one of my least favorite subjects, and I could not wait to be done with language requirements forever upon graduating from high school. However, I hadn’t taken enough Spanish classes to meet the GER language requirement at W&M, so I chose to “get it over with” as soon as I could by taking Combined Intermediate Spanish my first semester of freshman year. The impossible happened, and I immediately fell in love with the Spanish language. Since that first semester, both my professors and peers in the Hispanic Studies department have taught me the importance of studying cultural and historical context along with the grammatical aspects of a language. I discovered that there is no true “pure” form of Spanish and that the cultural variations of language are what make it so beautiful, because they give us a glimpse into the values held by its speakers. During my junior year, I participated in both the La Plata, Argentina and Sevilla, Spain study abroad programs, where I ultimately became fluent in Spanish and greatly expanded my perspective on the world and my program of study. This summer, I will be transitioning to a full-time position at an immigration law firm in Alexandria, Virginia, where I will be primarily working with Central American refugees fighting asylum cases. After a year or two of working, I plan on applying to law schools and eventually becoming an immigration attorney.

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