The Spotlight: Yesenia Ruano

If a human being dares to be bigger than the condition into which she or he was born, it means so can you.” – Maya Angelou

More stories from Jayleen De La Cruz


As President of the Mock Trial Club at CHS, Yesenia is an admitted student at Columbia University where she will major in Political Science. Her letter was released at 7 pm, however at that time she was in line to watch the latest Star Wars movie “The Last Jedi”. “I could have opened my decision before the movie started but I was too scared and I wanted to enjoy the movie experience. After the movie, I sat down in the car and clicked ‘View Update’. A few seconds later I saw the ‘Congratulations! Welcome to Columbia’s Class of 2022’ video pop up,  and I screamed! I started crying and the first thing I did was thank God.”

To Yesenia the acceptance letter allowed her to fulfill her dream to go her to dream university, Columbia. There she will be able to demonstrate the hard work she has put towards her studies. “ It still hasn’t hit me yet knowing that next year I’ll be attending my dream school. It leaves me speechless and I am humbled and so blessed.”

Many students face the burden of college tuition, and that was one of Yesenia’s greatest fear. “As a low income student, I was worried about not being able to pay for college… but the full ride has eased my stress.” Once attending the Multicultural Open House at Columbia, Yesenia says that it left a lasting impression on her. “The emotions I felt when walking into Lerner Hall overwhelmed me. I realized that every sliver of my identity was being represented at that moment.”

Once graduating from college, Yesenia would like to work towards her Law degree at either Columbia or Yale University. She would also like to study human rights, immigration, or criminal law. However, she would also like to be an advocate for undocumented families and students, and help them establish connections in the public sector. In her four years at CHS, Yesenia has been able to surround herself with a great group of friends who have taught her many life lessons, especially her best friend Jesus Estrada. “I’ve learned to never let the circumstances that you’ve been placed in stop you from succeeding. To work hard and to work silently, because eventually it pays off.”