Light Meets Tunnel

Quarantine has not dimmed the light of Ximena Chafloque ’24, an incoming ILRie who is the first member of her family to graduate from high school and attend college.
Ximena Chafloque ’24 poses with an ILR banner
Wednesday, May 20, 2020

As most high school seniors prepare for virtual graduations during quarantine, Ximena Chafloque ’24, is excited to begin the Cornell Prefreshman Summer Program in a few weeks. 

A soon-to-be graduate of Southeast High School in Sarasota, Florida, Ximena is the first member of her family to graduate from high school and to attend college. She has been accepted at ILR and will officially start as a Cornell freshman in the fall. 

At Southeast High, Ximena participated in her school’s Key Club, Technology Student Association and speech and debate team. Her involvements with the United Way’s Speakers Bureau and the Zero Hour environmental movement further demonstrate the varied interests Ximena plans to apply to an industrial and labor relations perspective.

Here are a few outtakes from a conversation with Ximena earlier this month:

As the first person in your family to go to college, what attracted you to ILR?
I really wanted to challenge myself and attend a school that not only thrived on diversity but could also be a home for my intellectual curiosity. I found that the community at the ILR school was not only tight-knit, but also a community of students committed to learning, serving others and leading. I also liked the "one major, endless possibilities" aspect of the ILR program. I loved the idea of an interdisciplinary major that would allow me to pursue many of my academic interests. 
What do you hope to get out of your ILR/Cornell experience?
I hope that I get to make connections with other students and alumni. I'm hoping that throughout my time at the ILR, I can further explore subjects I'm interested in and do some research and internships. I also hope to connect with my professors. 

What might seem a little fearsome about coming to Cornell?
I think the biggest thing I'm worried about is the weather because I have never seen or been in snow. I have basically grown up in Florida my whole life, so it is definitely a little scary. 

What’s at the top of your list of things to discover when you first arrive? 
I definitely want to explore the beautiful landmarks on campus and meet new people. I'm very excited to try out the dairy bar and food on campus because I heard the food was amazing. I'm also really looking forward to getting involved in extracurriculars while also participating in school traditions. 

How are you preparing for your freshman year?
Since my senior year officially ends this week, I plan on relaxing at home before I start the Prefreshman Summer Program online. I think that it will best prepare me for my transition to Cornell.