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OADI Honors Award Recipient

Liam Ordonez

Liam Ordoonezis receiving an award and a bouquet of flowers from a OADI staff member

1. What impact has OADI had on your student experience?

Over the past four years, I have had the privilege of fully embracing my identities and exploring my passions through OADI. From the moment I stepped onto campus in 2019, I was eager to get involved within the OADI community and make a difference. I quickly immersed myself in a variety of organizations on campus, including Sabor Latino Dance Ensemble, La Asociacion Latina (where I served as President of the Hispanic Student Union), Cornell Tradition (a service fellowship), the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement, the Student Assembly, Greek life, and several professional organizations.

Looking back on my involvement, I realize that each group offered a unique opportunity for me to further explore my talents and identities. While I gained valuable skills from each organization, perhaps the most important skill I have developed is my ability to appreciate the diversity of talent, thought, and skill that I was constantly surrounded by. Whether I was working on a group project, performing with my dance ensemble, or volunteering in the community, every interaction widened my worldview and deepened my appreciation for the rich tapestry of humanity.

As I prepare to graduate from Cornell University, I am proud of the person I have become and the lessons I have learned. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to grow and thrive within this community, and I am excited to continue using my talents and passions to make a positive impact in the world.

2. What has it meant to be recognized for an award and as a recipient?

This prestigious recognition is a testament of the hard work, dedication, and passion that I have poured into my professional journey and community. I am truly grateful to be acknowledged for my efforts as I continue to grow as a servant leader. 

I am humbled to be included among the talented individuals who have received this honor in the past. Their legacy motivates me to continue pushing boundaries, setting new goals, and striving for excellence. As I celebrate this milestone, I am more inspired than ever to continue my pursuit of Healthcare Administration. This award serves as a reminder that with passion, perseverance, and a supportive network, anything is possible.

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my mentors who have supported and guided me along this path. Their unwavering belief in my abilities and their invaluable advice have played a significant role in my success. This award is not just a personal triumph but also a reflection of the incredible mentorship I have received throughout my academic journey. Together, we have tackled challenges, surpassed expectations, and made a positive impact in our community.

3. What advice do you have for incoming freshman or to future program students?

My biggest piece of advice for future students is that it takes a village in order to achieve your goals. OADI has been an indispensable part of the "village" that has helped shape my journey thus far. With their unwavering support and guidance, I have been able to utilize the wealth of resources they provide to chart a course towards success. From the very beginning, OADI equipped me with vital information about college admissions requirements and deadlines - information that was particularly daunting for a first-generation student like me. However, their comprehensive guidance and unwavering support gave me the confidence to navigate the process with ease.

Furthermore, I have found it immensely valuable that OADI has maintained contact with its alumni. Their commitment to creating a strong network of graduates has provided me with ongoing access to resources that continue to serve me well throughout my college journey. Their support extends far beyond your undergraduate years.

4. Tell us a fun fact about yourself?

A fun fact about myself is that I have been dancing since 6th grade. I was first introduced to dance in my middle school where I began to take it seriously every summer in Colombia as I joined competitive salsa camps. Throughout my 4 years at Cornell University, I continued to dance and joined the Sabor Latino Dance Ensemble where I was able to share my passion for dancing with other like-minded and energetic individuals.