Katherine Facenda '23: The Smile Architect
Katherine’s foray into biology might seem an unlikely one for a future dentist.
On campus and off, Jaxell Negron is all about building community. As a Resident Assistant, he creates a strong, safe sense of rapport within his residence hall. Through the on-campus boxing club he co-founded, Ringside Fitness, he gave students a new way to work out and relieve stress.
But the sociology and economics double major was thinking bigger.
Using the insights he gained as an office assistant in Emmanuel's Career Center, Jaxell secured a position as a community affairs intern in the office of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker during his junior year.
There, he worked closely with the Youth Council as well as the newly-established Black and Latino Advisory Commissions, conducting research on economic prosperity, workforce development, health and wellness in low-income neighborhoods and assisting with correspondence and community outreach.
Over the next several months, Jaxell was able to more fully immerse himself in state government, also interning for the finance and legislative departments within the Governor’s Office, where he gained experience in fiscal policy and review, city and state bills, legislative communications and media briefings.
On his last day in the Governor’s Office, Jaxell sat down for a one-on-one with Governor Baker and had the opportunity to meet the governor of his native Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló.
As service has always been a big part of his life, Jaxell stayed in Boston last summer as one of Emmanuel’s Community Service Fellows. At Sociedad Latina, Jaxell supported the teachers and Boston Public School students involved in the organization’s STEAM program. “The students spoke little to no English, and I was there to provide them as much support as possible,” he says. “I found ways to break down those communication barriers without having to use language, but using math and architecture and other ways of expressing ourselves.”
During his senior year, Jaxell brought his academic and cocurricular journey full circle, working as a finance intern with global asset management consulting firm Cerulli Associates. “In my career, I want to start down the economic path and earn my CFA [Chartered Financial Analyst] designation, and the combine it with my sociological background in the public or non-profit sectors to help develop minority communities,” he says. Since graduation in May 2019, Jaxell has been working as an AP specialist at bluebird bio, a biotechnology company pioneering the world of gene therapy by developing therapies for severe genetic disease and cancer, while working to improve healthcare systems so gene therapy becomes accessible for all.
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