Elizabeth Torres arrived at Clarion University of Pennsylvania four years ago, armed with determination and direction. Growing up she witnessed injustice, and she wanted to become a lawyer to help right wrongs.
Clarion’s diversity appealed to her. Having taken part in a leadership program through the university while she was in high school, she knew about the campus, its academics and its opportunities. Torres, who said she was shy and reserved in high school, felt that Clarion would be the perfect place to develop educationally and socially.
“I stepped outside my comfort zone to find myself and find different organizations that I knew would enable me to help other people,” Torres said. “Because Clarion University is very diverse and has so many different organizations, I found the perfect organizations to display my leadership skills and to make my mark on campus. I learned I was more outgoing than I thought."
Since then, she has emerged as a leader, which was recognized by The Student Leadership Development Institute of the Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education. Her experiences have reinforced her decision to pursue a law degree and have helped her to develop essential skills for her career and life.
Torres is the youngest of five children. Her family emigrated from Puerto Rico when she was a toddler. She grew up speaking English and Spanish, and she also is fluent in French. When she graduates in May with a bachelor’s degree in political science, she will be her family’s first college graduate.