Ives Award winner Dulcio reflects on four years at ILR

"It's been wonderful," she said. "There's room here to be who you are."
Dulcio reflects on four years at ILR
Thursday, May 8, 2008

"It's been wonderful," she said.  "There's room here to be who you are."

Javeste Dulcio ’08 attended high school in an inner city Miami neighborhood.

Students from richer neighborhoods were bussed in for classes; Dulcio said she found herself racially alone in Advanced Placement classes.

That disturbing irony steered her towards a career in social justice.  "That molded my drive," said Dulcio, 2008 recipient of the Irving M. Ives Senior Award.

A graduating senior who best demonstrates good faith, integrity, responsibility, cooperativeness and goodwill is selected annually for the Ives Award by ILR faculty.

Those qualities serve well the social justice career Dulcio plans.

"I'll add more value to the civil rights struggle if I can think like a corporate lawyer," said Dulcio, entering Harvard Law School this fall.
ILR's demanding intellectual standards and welcoming environment, Dulcio said, were a great fit.

"It's been wonderful," she said. "There's room here to be who you are."

"Being able to understand where people are coming from" is an emphasis at ILR, too, she said.

"Thinking on your feet," she said is an ILR skill nurtured in class by ILR Professor Michael Gold.

"He really challenged us," Dulcio said.

One of 17 students of color who attended the Prefreshman Summer Program in 2004 and who will graduate this spring, Dulcio said, "Seventeen of us came in and 17 of us will be leaving" with diplomas.

At Cornell, Dulcio served as co-chair of the university's Community Partnership Board and as vice president of finance for ILR’s Minority ILR Student Organization.

She founded and developed workshops and mentoring programs for Ithaca teens.  "I bonded with the girls.  I wanted to inspire them to be agents of change."

Soon, it's on to Harvard and the world.

"I can't wait to break stereotypes and shatter glass ceilings."