Student Spotlight–Natasha Almanzar-Sanchez DRC’20, Finding Community at Douglass
With tens of thousands of students coming in and out of Rutgers every year, the biggest challenge for some is finding their own community.
Natasha Almanzar-Sanchez, DRC’20, found her home at Douglass.
“I wanted to be a part of Douglass because I wanted to be surrounded by women who motivate each other and create a sense of community here at this enormous university,” she explained. “DRC feels like its own separate establishment where I can relax and feel comfortable when Rutgers is doing the most.”
A junior who intends to double major in History and Political Science, and minor in Africana Studies, Almanzar-Sanchez got involved with Douglass early on and has not looked back.
As a first-year student, she said she applied to The Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) at Douglass and was accepted into the Women, Law, and Legal Advocacy retreat.
That sent her to Washington, D.C. for a four-day retreat, and had an impact on her future, as she said she wants to work as a defense attorney after graduation.
“I want to become a defense attorney so helping people will be a part of the profession,” she said. “Helping is what Douglass does best, and I experienced that firsthand.”
On top of that, Almanzar-Sanchez participated in Douglass externships during both her sophomore and junior years, and has lived on Douglass campus for the past three years.
Her externship was with The New York Legal Assistance Group, which introduced her to life working in the legal and pro bono area. With a Douglass alumna as her supervisor, she was inspired to follow her goals. Almanzar-Sanchez wants to become a defense attorney and someday work her way up to being a judge.
Douglass gave Almanzar-Sanchez the space, opportunity and inspiration to be herself, which has helped define her experience so far. She has made a mark on her Douglass and Rutgers community, receiving the SAS Excellence Award both in 2017 and 2018, her paper titled “Civil Disobedience and the First Amendment: The Subjective Constitutional Validity” was published in the 12th Volume of Dialogues@RU and won the “Outstanding Research Writing Project” award at the 2018 Conference for Undergraduate Writing.
“Being a Douglass women simply means being able to be me,” she said. “Douglass wants you to be yourself and to make yourself happy. Work toward whatever goal. Engage deeper in a hobby. Try something new.”