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Celebrating a Heart-Full of Gratitude


By: Kayla Tejero


Cheers to a month of thankfulness, family and pumpkin pie. This month, we celebrate one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving. Nothing brings me more joy than being surrounded by my family, eating good food (my mom makes some good ham), and reflecting on what I am grateful for. I am grateful that I am in good health, have a roof over my head, and food on my table. I am thankful for having friends and family who love and support me and a stable and fulfilling job. Sometimes, it’s the little things in life that make life big. We must cherish every moment that we have here on earth. We should “count our blessings and name them one by one,” just as the song goes.

As the year is about to end, November usually gives us an opportunity to make use of the last remaining days to finish our ongoing projects. As for me, I am so happy to say that I finished and closed on my newly purchased humble abode. It’s hard to believe that I am finally called a young owner. I am forever grateful for this accomplishment. It is what I have always dreamt for. I hope to inspire others to dream, to dream big, and work on achieving their dreams no matter what their situation is. If I can do it, you can do it too. For our students, Thanksgiving is the time of the year where most leave school and come home to celebrate with their family the spirit of Thanksgiving. It’s a time to de-stress from school and spend the much-needed quality time with love ones. Let us hear from our four featured college students about their dreams and aspirations in life!

Kaitlyn Natividad says, “What I hope to accomplish as an Asian American college student is to take advantage of the opportunities I was given by completing my education and entering the work world in the field I have studied. I hope to show my family and my culture that Asian American women belong in the workforce and can do the work well. I want to accomplish my goals and make my family and my background proud.”

Mirabel Silva says, “In my last year of college, I hope to create memories and impact my fellow community through the help of my sorority. Through them, I have been able to speak about leadership, cultural awareness and the issues faced here at NIU. Once I graduate, I hope to make my parents and myself proud of all the achievements that I have done and hope to accomplish in the future as well.”

Natalie Kassab says, “As an Asian American college student my current goal is to complete my radiation therapy clinical program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital by August of 2024. I aspire to pass my board exam at the completion of this program in order to become a certified radiation therapist. After graduation, I hope to find employment in my field of radiation oncology at a well-accredited hospital.”

Nikki Vergara says, “As a Filipina-American in college, my aim is to foster meaningful connections, promote cultural awareness and inclusivity, and strengthen my connections to my Filipino heritage. By joining the Filipino American Student Association on campus, I have discovered a newfound appreciation of my roots. After college, I hope to go to med school to eventually pursue a career as a pediatrician.”


Kaitlyn Natividad, Senior
BS Finance
University of Toledo


Mirabel Ann Silva, Senior
BS Kinesiology (Rehabilitation)
Northern Illinois University


Natalie Kassab, Senior
BS Radiation Therapy
Roosevelt University


Nicole Vergara, Junior
BS Biology
University of Michigan

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