Nelly Alba ’16 has circled back to where she wants to be. She was accepted into Teach for America and got a job working as a special education teacher at Newcomer High School in Lawrence, Mass. – her hometown. Her students are English-language learners who are newly arrived in the U.S.
Alba has long been determined to work with Spanish-speaking families back home, which is why she majored in Hispanic studies. “I always wanted to com back to my community and work closely with families, which is where my Spanish comes in,” says Alba, who also majored in psychology.
Alba describes herself as a “proudly raised Dominican child” whose first language was Spanish. At Hamilton and studying in the College’s program in Spain, she worked to build her formal language skills so she could communicate effectively with Spanish speaking families and staff when she became a teacher.
“That came from my constant dedication to creating a platform for the people in my community to be recognized as talented and not worthless, like news articles and the media have called us before,” Alba says. Her psychology major and the semester she spent Hamilton’s program at The New England Center for Children were part of her academic strategy in pursuit of a teaching career.