When Knowledge is Powerful: Saint Mary’s College

When Knowledge is Powerful: Saint Mary’s College


(pleasant music) My name is Michelle Espinal. I’m from Chinandega, Nicaragua. That’s in Central America. My current major here at Saint Mary’s is mathematics and then I’m a civil engineer at Notre Dame. One of the reasons why I chose civil engineering is because you help people. You use your major to, you know, help people and work with them, and at the same time it sounds cliche but you make a better world for someone else that besides yourself. The project that I worked with this past summer, we planned, designed, fundraised and then built a foot bridge in a community in Nicaragua that was not able to cross the river during the rainy season because it floods. River was so dangerous. We have the middle school is on the other side of the river. They are going to school. I mean it’s kids and that’s a huge risk because mothers would tie ropes to them in order to cross them to the other side safely. That was just really sad to hear that they had to put all of that effort in order to do something that we do every day. (gentle guitar music) The building of the foot bridge, that was intense. That’s the word that defines that. Just picture engineering student my age digging excavations, picking up buckets full of gravel, full of sand, full of cement. Getting dirty every single day. Working from five in the morning ’til 9:00 p.m. (upbeat music) The day the bridge was complete was amazing. Everyone celebrated. And after we were done, all of my classmates and I would lay on the bridge for a solid two hours and we were just like wow, we’re done. This just happened. That was, that was biggest engineering challenge. The classes that I’ve taken here, they have opened my mind in a way that I cannot believe. (upbeat music)

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