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You are here: Home / Admissions / Undergraduate / Stories / Monica Spohn

Monica Spohn

The goal for Monica Spohn at Dominican is simple. With her college education, she wants to learn to find a way and means to get back to Guatemala and somehow give disadvantaged families there a better life than the one she and her nine siblings inherited amidst that country’s violence and corruption.

They were all adopted after their father died when she was eight years old and their mother was too poor to provide for her 10 children, yet wise and brave enough to allow them to be raised by someone who could.

I really want to do something to help my homeland. The reason I want to go back is because I believe I can make a bigger difference there than I can here. I want to show them, `what I have done, you also can achieve.’ 

Though having to learn English, Monica came to America with a younger sister and settled with their adopted parents in Berkeley. She attended Saint Mary’s College High School where she was on the Lasallian Student Leaders senior class council. Though she was accepted to Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, Monica felt Dominican was a better fit for her with its small campus, small class sizes and “sense of community and welcome-ness.”

At Dominican, the International Studies major will learn and explore global dimensions of economics, politics and culture. She aims to utilize her bilingual skills and study abroad with a focus on Central America. Three siblings and her birth mother still live in Guatemala, where Spohn visits once a year, while she has younger brothers living in New York and New Jersey and a younger sister resides in France.

As difficult as Spohn’s upbringing was in Guatemala, she was mature beyond her years to know greater opportunities would come from it. Her time at Dominican is designed for her to give back.

“I always tend to look at the positive side of my life,” she says.

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