The January student spotlight is on Texas native, Maribel Jaimes-Aviles of Muskego, who is planning a career in physical therapy. In addition to her studies, Maribel keeps busy on campus, serving as President of the African American Union (AAU) and Vice President of the Organization of Latin Leaders of America (OLLA). She’s also served as a mentor in the Pre-College Program. At the end of the day, her advice for new students is “you did not only come this far, to only come this far. You will only live through it once, so remember to enjoy every second of it.”
Name: Maribel Jaimes-Aviles
Hometown: Corsicana, Texas
Major: Double Major in Kinesiology and Biomedical Sciences
Career Goal: Pediatric Physical Therapist at Children’s Hospital
High School: Waukesha South High School, 2016
Why did you choose UW-Waukesha? College, at times can be intimidating for first generation students. In my case, starting at a big school never sounded appealing to me because of the constant doubt I had in myself, that would question whether I would be successful being away from home and in a completely new environment. While being well connected with James Boling, I obtained the opportunity of working on campus during the summer and school year at the Diversity and Pre-College Center and as a mentor for the Pre-College Program. Viewing James Boling as a mentor, influenced my stay at UW-Waukesha. He assisted me in becoming familiar with not only helpful services and opportunities that would come to my benefit as a student, but also helped me establish connections with professors and staff members on campus too. Taking some of the fear away, helped me realize that having these connections would better prepare me academically and socially for when I transfer to a four-year university.
Outside of school: During my freshman year, I took advantage of every opportunity that was out there for me. I had the pleasure to work as a mentor for the Pre-College Program with James Boling and a wonderful team. I also had the opportunity take higher roles for student organizations such as, the President of AAU (African American Union), Vice President of OLLA (Organization of Latin Leaders of America) and a former member of Diversity Club. Staying well connected with the campus has been ideal for me. Any time I see an opportunity now that could benefit me, I will absolutely go after it.
Favorite staff member: From the very start, this person not only demonstrated to me what a hard worker looks like, but he also demonstrated how important it is to leave your mark wherever you go. From the times I struggled with my FAFSA, to submitting my scholarship applications, James Boling has been a mentor and a great role model, who has provided guidance as well as the opportunities to allow me to grow. Thanks to him,| I was able to surpass those bumps in the road and recognize the true potential that I, myself, as a first generation Latino student holds.
Favorite Class: My favorite class is Introduction to Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies taught by Dr. Lisa Hager. It is one of those courses that allows you to grow and learn from one another’s experiences. It also provides an opportunity to discuss social and cultural issues that go unnoticed. With a very welcoming environment and a very outspoken professor who I have enjoyed so much, I have to say I would take this course all over again!
Plans after UW-Waukesha: After completing my two years at UW-Waukesha, I will be continuing my studies at UW-M (University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee). Soon after that, I plan to complete my studies at my desired graduate school to earn my PhD.
Advice for incoming freshman: Life is full of “don'ts” - so I will tell you some things you CAN do. Talk to someone new. Be involved, ask questions and seek help when you need it. Be proud, and be confident. Become aware of what your school has to offer, it is there for a reason. College will really work you out like you’ve never worked before - but at the end of the day, as I like to tell myself “you did not only come this far, to only come this far.” You will only live through it once, so remember to enjoy every second of it.