NAU Communications sat down with the ASNAU president, Maylee Acosta, to get to know her on a more personal level. Read our questions and her answers below.
Q: Tell me about a significant childhood memory and how it has impacted your life today.
A: For context, I would like to share that I am a first-generation Mexican woman whose parents migrated from Mexico when they were in their teens.
When my family would gather for birthday celebrations, sports games, achievements or anything of that sort, my cousins and I would go to the front yard and play a different version of hide and seek. We’d lounge around and wait for cars to pass by, the cars would be our signal to “hide.” Now, since we were all working together to hide from the cars, whoever saw the car first would alert everyone by yelling “La Migra!,” which essentially translates to the U.S. Border Patrol. As a kid, I didn’t really understand what that meant, I just knew that “La Migra” was someone or something we should run away and hide from. I always knew that when I “grew up” I would dedicate my life to help others. At first, it was a way of making my family proud. But as I became more aware of the trauma and injustice people face and as I reflected on memories like this when I was a child, I knew I wanted to make my life one of advocacy—especially for people who cannot speak for themselves.
Q: What have you been most proud of this week?
A: I will be honest, at times it’s a little difficult juggling school, ASNAU presidency and RA duties. I have been working on setting boundaries and I actually stuck with one all the way through. And it was my proudest moment this week. I woke up and did not answer emails until I was done with my class assignments. I get so many emails, and my habit is to view or respond as soon as I get the notification. It was a little difficult, but I think that’ll be my new approach.
Q: What is your favorite way to spend a day off?
A: I love to listen to random YouTube videos while I craft, clean or take a walk. It’s my favorite way to reset and I end up learning random cool facts, like: Yuma is the world’s producer of lettuce in the Winter time.
Q: What are three things on your bucket list and why?
A: Travel for a month to somewhere that has water (beach, lake, waterfall) without responsibilities. I really like playing in water and listening to waves crash. But I also wonder how life would be like if I just relaxed for a month. Go to the Grand Canyon. At this point it’s embarrassing to say I haven’t visited but I’ve lived in Arizona my entire life. Learn how to ski. I’ve snowboarded before and absolutely fell in love with it. I would like to try skiing next!
Q: What is your philosophy in life?
A: I remind myself everyday of the privilege it is to be living in the United States. To remind myself (because sometimes I get lost in my own little world), I carry a picture of my grandma (who had shared her dream about becoming a nurse but had to drop out in the fourth grade to help her mom at home) and a picture of a trip I took to Mexico to visit family (many of whom tried to pay for my dinner even though they were struggling to feed themselves). It’s truly insane to think about how many people in the world are struggling, so I make sure to be grateful that I am not.
Q: Why did you decide to get involved with ASNAU?
A: I first got involved as a freshman in the New Student Government (NSG). This was the natural thing for me to do since I had been involved with student and city government my entire life. However, as I learned more about the organization, it’s impact and the diversity of the people in the office, I fell in love with the team dynamic.