Rosa Ortiz

Age 22, Class of 2019

Legacy Youth Participant 

Rosa was raised in the Humboldt Park community of Chicago and attended North Grand High School,
earning her high school diploma. She participated in the Legacy Youth after-school program during her sophomore, junior, and senior years as a program intern, participant, and leader. Throughout her time as a Legacy Youth participant, she traveled with the program to Washington, DC, New York City, and Lake Geneva, WI for a leadership retreat.

Currently Attending: Western Illinois University

Major(s): French, Communications

Minor(s): Psychology

Favorite Legacy Youth Lesson: Relationship Chain. As a highschooler, I was very closed off to others
because of the trust issues I had from past experiences. With this lesson, I learned that relationships
are like a chain and each link was an aspect of relationships such as, love, respect, and most
importantly, trust. When you remove a link, the whole chain falls. It really showed me the importance
of relationships and that in order to have a healthy relationship, I needed to learn how to trust again.

Proudest Accomplishment to Date: Graduating from high school. My mother was a single mom to
three girls never got a chance to graduate. Having the opportunity to hold my diploma in my hand
and see her eyes light up at the sight of it all was the satisfaction I needed. Knowing that I achieved
something with all the odds against me as a Latina woman was the highlight of my life. Now, all that’s
left is my college degree!

Future Goals: To be the first person in my family to graduate from college. I want to be successful to provide for my future family so that they don’t lack anything. No matter how many obstacles appear in my way, I will overcome them.

“Legacy Leaders taught me not to
follow the path most taken and
to leave my own trail.”

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