Alumni Spotlight: Michelle Muñoz-Machen ’99

Michelle Muñoz-Machen ’99

I commuted to De La Salle Academy (DLSA) from the Bronx, which is an education in itself (shoutout to the 2 and 5 trains)! I remember feeling very lucky and grateful to be at DLSA. I felt very well supported by my family, and teachers, navigating a new school. As an incoming sixth grader, I remember worrying about the teachers and wondering what they would be like. But those worries were put to rest as I quickly realized how easy it was to have open and warm relationships with teachers, and just how much I would come to rely on their advice, insights, and sense of community.

I remember having conversations about hopes, dreams and aspirations, as well as my struggles and fears. I think what stands out to me was that I was in an environment where these kinds of conversations were encouraged – even if they made us feel vulnerable at times or may have included sensitive topics. I credit the adults in the DLSA community for fostering that kind of openness and realness, and to my classmates for trusting each other with these insights.

After DLSA, I attended the Spence School, Harvard University, and Tulane Law. Looking back, DLSA provided me with an excellent academic foundation and framework – teaching me how to ask questions, how to be an engaged thinker and really loving the process of learning. I think the lasting impact DLSA has had in my life, in terms of my academic transitions after middle school, is a strong socio-emotional discovery process. Building my sense of self, personal values, confidence, ability to trust my instincts, and overall a sense of pride and dignity in my own story. These lessons are invaluable in facing adversity at any point in your life.

The beauty of DLSA is its ability to provide an incredibly rich environment for educational and personal growth. DLSA is about embracing and uplifting the whole child, empowering children to become self-assured adults with incredible impact in their personal and professional communities.

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