Firstie Focus: Maya Fontanez ’21

Photo of Maya Fontanez ’21

High school: Lake Champlain Waldorf High School

Hometown: Saint George, Vermont

Possible major:  pre-law, environmental studies

Noteworthy experiences: As a sophomore in high school, I spent three months studying abroad in Melbourne, Australia. I lived with a host family and attended the Melbourne Rudolf Steiner School with my exchange partner. This experience helped me to discover more about myself, including my love for traveling and exploring new places.

Last summer, I spent two weeks traveling around Texas and Oklahoma learning about how hydraulic fracking is impacting lives — through earthquakes, contaminated water and health issues. I interviewed people who are facing these issues and took photos and video footage throughout the trip. At home I created a short film to share this issue and explain why people are choosing to stay in these states despite the struggles they are dealing with. Recently, I was able to present my work at the Green Mountain Film Festival in Montpelier, Vermont.  

Proudest moment: I played basketball for all four years of high school. In one of my last games my senior year my coach kept me in for the entire game and I scored over half of our team’s points.

Why MHC: I chose Mount Holyoke because it seems like a place where I will be accepted for who I am. I am impressed with the focus on helping students develop their leadership skills as well as the dedication of the professors.  

First impressions: During my first visit to campus, I immediately noticed the diversity and friendliness of the students and how welcoming everyone was. They all seemed very happy and excited to be there and I could tell that everyone was supportive of one another.  

Favorite place on campus: Williston Library. I love the architecture of the building as well as the calm and friendly atmosphere.  

How you are spending the summer: This summer I will be traveling in Greece, working at a local restaurant and spending time with my family, friends and dog.

Where do you want to be in 10 years: I’d like to be making a positive difference while also having the ability to travel the world and experience and learn from other cultures.

Career aspirations: Possibly becoming a practicing attorney working in environmental law.  

The most important thing in my residence hall room will be: Plenty of pillows and plants

Patronus: a swallow

Favorite book: “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” by Ned Vizzini  

Favorite TV show, movie, music: “Scrubs,” “10 Things I Hate About You,” “The Summer Set”

Favorite social media sites: Instagram and Snapchat