Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
The area I grew up in Westchester was homogenous: white, Irish- Italian Republicans. My grammar school was just a few blocks from my house and my parents would drive me to school every day. Occasionally, my sister and I would walk the quarter mile alone to our mother's business, which was a leap of independence for us. As a child, I would sometimes sleep over my grandmother's house, the only time I was ever away from home. Every time without fail, I would get sick from eating as many Reese's candies and instead of staying there for the night, my mom would pick me up and bring me home in the middle of the night. My dependence upon my parents and sheltered life continued throughout high school. Both my mother and my father had the luxury of flexible job schedules so they could attend every one of mine and my sister's sports games. We went to church every Sunday together and had dinner as a family every night. Summer vacations with the four of us were annual. Going to college two and a half hours away from home at the University at Albany was a huge change for me. It was a culture shock. Not everyone looked exactly like me and they definitely did not share all the same views as me. In college, I learned what it was like to live on my own, without my parents guiding me through everything. I missed my mother's homemade cooking and the stability my life at home provided. But my time at UAlbany provided me with a sense of independence and an understanding of myself. After a while, I became comfortable with UAlbany and wanted to continue challenging my partiality for familiarity. I applied for a study abroad program in Florence, Italy and learned about myself while becoming aware of different cultures and 3 lifestyles. I hope to pursue a career as an international broadcast reporter.
Valentino, Gina, "A Journey Towards International Interdependence and Cultural Immersion" (2014). Journalism Program. 6.