The youngest of three, Tatiana Amador is a senior at Kean University, with one year left to complete her biology degree with a minor in psychology.
She commutes to Kean University from her home in East Orange, N.J.
Over the course of several weeks this past summer, Amador gained valuable experience at the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, which ensured she was heading toward the right career path.
"I got the opportunity from my EOF counselor," Amador said. "She's very big with getting her students connections to different internships, jobs, anything and I didn't think that I was going to get in because of my grades; I didn't feel like I was good enough."
Amador pulled through and was able to take hold of this opportunity.
"It was really eye opening as this is exactly what I want to do," Amador said. "I know that for sure I want to be able to help people. So I was exposed to different people, ethnicities [and] cultural competency."
On her first day, she was able to shadow one of the doctors there. She was working in the family medicine unit and saw a variety of people coming in with different conditions and needs.
She described osteopathic medicine as a form of treatment that focuses on manipulation of different parts of the body by use of the hands rather than resorting to prescription medicines as a first option for treating patients. Osteopathic doctors ask questions about a patient's lifestyle to see if a daily activity or habit is contributing to the problem they are experiencing. It is similar to, but more advanced than, chiropractics and also uses methods and techniques from physical therapy.
With the goal of becoming a physical therapist, Amador thoroughly enjoyed this experience.
After she graduates from Kean University, Amador is looking to attend graduate school to earn a doctorate in physical therapy. She is considering Kean University's three-year program and then going on to work inside a clinic to gain more experience working with other people. Eventually, she would like to open her own clinic and earn her message therapy license.
"I want to be able to get my massage therapy license so I can go to a hospital and give massage therapy treatments to cancer patients because I did lose my father to cancer in 2014," Amador said.
She understands the muscular pain that cancer patients suffer from as a result of radiation and chemotherapy treatment, so she would like to give back and help them.
She knows that the physical therapy program is growing rapidly, as she works at the Occupational Therapy Department for the Kean University Nathan Weiss graduate school. Amador has also been involved in several clubs on campus. She was a member of the Pre-Medical Pre-Dental Association and Biology Club. She said she was not involved in these very long, since she has been heavily involved in her sorority.
She became a member of the sorority Omega Phi Chi during the spring semester of 2015.
"Growing up I never really wanted to be secluded to a certain type of culture or race," Amador said. "So I always wanted to be around Hispanics, African Americans, any type of culture, because I feel that I will be able to learn so much more than just being secluded to one type of culture."
That was her main reason for choosing to join Omega Phi Chi Multicultural Sorority, Inc. She wanted to be a part of an organization that was multicultural and loved to find out more about someone's culture, ethnicity, religion, anything.
Through connections, Amador knew a sister of one of the organization's chapters, and she gave her more insight about the sorority. From there she fell in love and began looking more into it.
"What really caught my eye was the strolling, the stepping and they were very welcoming so I really wanted to be a part of a sisterhood that I felt like I could fit in automatically," Amador said," they really set themselves apart."
This semester, she holds the roles of director of public relations and president for Omega Phi Chi. Last semester she held four different executive positions, including director of public relations, treasurer, vice president and dean of recruitment.
On campus, there are seven members of Omega Phi Chi, which is relatively small compared to their other larger chapters that can have between 10 and 15 members.
She is also the representative on the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC). In this position, she helps in creating more events on campus, establishing more support between organizations and generating Greek unity.
"I'm proud to be involved in that also, just to see the growth because I know in a couple years, it can become so much bigger with the new members that each organization gets and I just want to see how big it's going to grow," Amador said.
Amador enjoys spending time giving to others through volunteering. Out of the kindness of her heart, she feels that giving back to the community is great. Volunteering is a big part of her life. She serves through the university, outside of school and through her sorority, all offering her plenty of opportunities to give back to others.
"Every Thanksgiving since 2014, I've been volunteering to make meals and pack the meals for homeless people with my aunt's church," Amador said. "This past Thanksgiving was my third time doing it, so I really enjoy that."
When she is not busy with her school work, extracurricular activities and volunteer work, Amador enjoys cooking and spending time with her friends and family. During the semester there is always so much to do, so she feels that she is not around her family as much, and if she is, then she is preoccupied with school work.
As previously mentioned, Amador lost her father to a battle with cancer in 2014,which is a very big part of her life.
"I feel like he's my motivation," Amador said. "Even after he passed away, I went to school the next day because I know he didn't want me to stray away from school.
Her father was always very supportive of everything she did, which included pledging for her sorority. She told him about it, and he passed away right around the time she would be pledging. Therefore, that was pushed on the back burner until the spring semester.
Through this, Amador feels that she gained more experience and grew as a person.
She said that growing up, she always compared herself to other people. Amador revealed that in college this is especially significant because it can be tough seeing peers getting better grades or opportunities than her.
"But I've noticed throughout the years that you can't always compare yourself to the next person because everybody always has their come up," Amador said. "It just comes with growth that you can't always compare yourself to other people and you just have to work on yourself."
One of her most memorable moments at Kean University is joining her sorority.
Being a commuter student, she always wanted to be more involved on campus. Joining her sorority helped her grow in ways she never thought she would and also helped her in breaking out of her shell.
Now she is planning programs, helping create flyers, promoting different events, talking to people and even running events. These jobs help her with her leadership and communication skills. She is also able to meet more people through this.
Ultimately, Kean University has prepared Amador for her future. She would like to send out a special thank you to her Educational Opportunity Fund Adviser Elis Sosa, who has motivated her throughout her educational journey.
She described her as a second mother and that without her, she would not have had the opportunity to go to Rowan University in the summer.
"I thank Kean [University] for giving me her because she's provided me with so much information [and] helped me not stray away from my original goal," Amador said. "She helped me out a lot even when I wanted to change my major because it was so tough. She would just say 'you know we've all been there before, just keep going.'"
After an interview with Tatiana Amador, "just keep going" seems to be the motto pushing her to achieve her big goals for the future. Her personality and confidence in herself is evident, and as she finishes her undergraduate degree at Kean University, her future only looks bright from here on out.