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Kim Gomez, Marist '17

Majored in Special Education/Psychology with a concentration in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

What has your career path been to this point?

For the last 3 years, I have worked as a Special Education Grade 1 teacher for the New York City Department of Education in the Bronx. In my school, I support students who have been classified with a wide range of disabilities, as well as those who have been classified as English Language Learners. I feel extremely grateful to Marist College for providing me with the tools and resources I need to make my students feel successful in and out of the classroom.

Photo of Kim with a big grin, standing beside a colorful classroom smartboard that says "good morning!"

Can you share an memory from your time at HRVI that stands out as meaningful?

During two of the summers I spent at the Hudson River Valley Institute, I worked as Colonel Jim Johnson’s teaching assistant during the Marist Pre-College Program, where high school students experienced college life and education in the Hudson River Valley. I will never forget learning how to load and blast a replica cannon.

How has your experience at HRVI helped you advance your education and/or professional pursuits since graduating from Marist?

My experience at HRVI has cemented one of the most valuable tools I have used thus far in my career: experience your education. As a teacher to lower grades in a low-income school district, I’ve realized the differences within each community, such as the opportunities children have to learn about their history, culture, and landscape. Because of these differences, it is crucial that students participate in experiences that allow them to gain an understanding of life outside of their community.

As HRVI celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2022, do you have any advice for future HRVI interns based on your time at HRVI and your experience in your professional field?

I cannot say this enough: Experience It. The Hudson River Valley is an incredible place to be a part of the past. There are so many historic places to explore that our past leaders have walked on, fought on, and signed documents that have guided our history, such as Springwood, The Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, Fort Montgomery State Historic Site, and my personal favorite, the FDR Presidential Library and Museum. My time at HRVI also taught me to appreciate and value the mentors and friends who have guided me and have supported me even past my time at HRVI. There are very few days where I don’t smile looking at my Colonel coins, laugh thinking about how difficult it was to fire a cannon, and wish that I could still be at HRVI. Thank you, HRVI, for being a part of my journey.