If asked what her greatest accomplishment is, Monique will say without reservation that completing Boston Latin School is the best thing she has ever done. Surviving this extremely competitive and demanding environment was a feat she is proud to have accomplished and she would not turn the clock back for anything, even if she did end up doing the “seven year plan” as opposed to the average six or four. Through her years at Latin, she has learned perseverance, hard work and most importantly how to care. Being around people who wanted to see her succeed and having overwhelming opportunities, she couldn’t help but hold a place for Latin deep in her heart. Who she is now is a result of her Latin alma mater. Who she will develop to be in the future is a result of her undying dedication to the lessons she learned while growing up in the best institution for growing minds.
Before Latin, Monique was shy, but very curious about the world around her. She grew up with a love for writing and the English language. Keeping a documentation of her thoughts inspired her to write poems of her personal experiences with the hopes of someday forming them in an anthology titled “The Bible of Myself.” With her strong interest in writing and English, she only needed a slight push to start performing her pieces and declaiming other pieces which inspired her. At Latin School, where declamation was a requirement, Monique excelled in the art because she finally found her moment to shine and let her voice be heard. Using her voice in her surrounding environments, whether it was school, church or a community organization has been her passion from an early age. This passion for speaking out has been at the forefront of her academic and extracurricular endeavors.
Monique became involved with one program which enabled her to have confidence in herself and to speak out, and later on encourage others to follow her lead. The Latin School Step Squad has made the biggest impact on her life, teaching her patience, dedication and how to help others. Being on the step team made her remain at Latin because she saw herself and others grow and mature out of their experiences on the team. The team pushed her further making her want to get involved more in her community, and to volunteer her services because she saw great promise in local youths who just needed a little something to believe in. Her six year tenure on the team has formed her into an extremely passionate person, a quality which she believes is both her greatest strength and weakness. Being passionate is a weakness because when she falls short of her goal, the feeling is tremendously upsetting; while it is her greatest strength, because she refuses to give up.
Another great opportunity for Monique was being involved in an all girls radio station GRLZ Radio from 2005 to the present which now broadcasts universally over the web at www.grlzradio.org . The program gave her more first hand experience with young individuals who want to be apart of a positive cause. At the station, she found her real passion for being a voice for the whole community and started pursuing a career in broadcast journalism overseas. She learned to Disc Jockey and interview people accurately, deliver the news effectively and become a spokesperson for change in the community. Through this program, she was able to co-author Mayor Menino’s 2006 inaugural poem along with a fellow GRLZ Radio participant, Shalaya West. Being labeled a Teen Activist in the Boston Herald made her feel accomplished and even more driven to do more.
Monique took on another program in the fall of 2006, Teen Voices, an all girls mentoring and journalism internship which publishes their own magazine twice a year. The program, directed by a Latin Alum, Saun Green, was an intense experience, but was more therapeutic than just another day job. Along with writing articles for the magazine, the program was centered on fostering growth by pushing girls to be proud themselves by appreciating the hardships they faced along the way. This last experience prepared Monique for her active role in her recent position.
Working closely with Ron Bell and some of the most enthusiastic people in the Governor’s Public Liaison Office has been an experience which Monique will always cherish. While initially looking for a summer job, she found the Ward Fellowship application and soon applied, feeling that it was time for her to take another step towards her career goal of being involved and staying involved with the community and the people. Public service had always been a hidden passion in Monique’s life but now it is on the frontline of her vision to have a successful job and a gratifying life.