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Meet Aracely Merino Chávez

“I get a sense of joy when keeping myself busy.”

Even at a young age, Aracely Merino Chávez is taking advantage of every opportunity she can.

Currently a junior in high school, Aracely learned about the option to participate in dual enrollment from one of her counselors in 2023. Naturally, Aracely was eager to sign up.

“I have always loved pushing myself academically,” she shared. “When I found out that I could take classes at MiraCosta College that would count toward college credit, I was all in.”

Dual enrollment allows students at certain local high schools to take college classes at their before, during, or after the school day. Students get credit for both a high school course and the college course.

Amid her high school course load, Aracely carved out time to take both Business 136: Human Relations in Business and Child 106: Introduction to Curriculum in Early Childhood.

When asked why those courses, Aracely explained that she wanted to expand her knowledge of all the career pathways available to her and start to grow professionally. Not willing to stop there, however, Aracely took advantage of another opportunity through MiraCosta College when she signed up for the internship program.

As an intern, Aracely has had the opportunity to make a difference right in her home community. Working as an intern for the City of Oceanside’s Housing and Neighborhood Services Department, Aracely provides direct support to residents every day. From helping individuals to apply for jobs, to organizing large-scale initiatives like food drives and providing resources for residents without homes, Aracely is proud to be part of the positive change right in her neighborhood.

“Interacting with people face to face, especially people who I can call my fellow neighbors and community members in Oceanside, is so rewarding,” said Aracely. “This internship has not only given me professional skills I will use for the rest of my life, but it is allowing me to make a difference at home.”

Aracely is grateful for the opportunities MiraCosta College has provided her and relishes the fact that she can continue to feed her thirst for knowledge and growth while in high school.

Shared Aracely, “My parents never had these types of opportunities when they were younger. That puts it into perspective for me and it’s why I love working as hard as I do.”

After graduating from high school next spring, Aracely hopes to take what she learned from her internship and academic experiences to pursue a career as a veterinarian.

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