“I don’t know exactly what career I want to work in,” Rosie Avila writes in her Her Honor application essay. From kindergarten teacher to journalist, writer and illustrator to chef, Rosie has bounced through career options like a pinball - jumping from one idea to the next, curious about the many opportunities the world holds for her.
However, as a senior in high school, for Rosie, this is a bit daunting — or, as she says, “[it] scares me to death.” Rosie is not alone in this feeling. According to a recent study, 67% of high school students reported feeling stressed about getting into college.
As she closed her junior year at Mamaroneck High School, and dove more deeply into the college application process, the feeling became more urgent. “We started writing our sample college essays and I got overwhelmed with fear and uncertainty,” wrote Rosie, “Not knowing what I was to strive for complicates which college to look at.”
With all this in mind, Rosie applied to the Her Honor program to help her navigate her future goals. She saw it as an opportunity to learn something new and broaden her horizons. “There are so many professions in the world that I have yet to encounter because I live in such a small community,” Rosie write, “Programs like this, I know, will help open up my mind.”
In September, Rosie was placed with her mentor Ciara Dilley, Senior Director at PepsiCo Global Snacks and a first time Her Honor mentor. The placement wasn’t exactly kindergarten teacher or journalist, writer and illustrator or chef, but Rosie entered into the program excited to explore new possibilities and gain skills which would support her professionally.
In her role at PepsiCo, Ciara “[leads] a team in developing and supporting healthier snacks, always searching for new Ideas and bringing new products to market.” She’s also making sure Rosie’s own voice is brought to the table throughout their time together. As part of Rosie’s internship, she will complete project work that will share her own experience as a teenager in order to inform snacking insights.
Through Her Honor, Rosie is also being exposed to an environment quite different than others she’s been in before. Rosie has had the opportunity to meet many employees at PepsiCo and to become familiar with the many jobs that people do there, helping her better understand her own career goals.
“It's an incredible gift to have someone spending so much time giving you support and coaching to help you develop and fulfill your potential,” mentor Ciara says, “It's so enriching to hear of the experiences of your mentor and what they have learned on their career path.”
What’s been Rosie’s most rewarding Her Honor experience? “Being able to see myself work for a big corporation,” she says. While at PepsiCo, one role really jumped out as Rosie: behavioral economics. “[It] really sparked my interest because it’s psychoanalysis and marketing,” Rosie says, “[it’s] the first major I can realistically see myself exceeding in.”
We can’t say if Rosie will come out of her college career with a degree in behavioral economics. After all, more than half of college students will change their major at least once throughout their college career. That said, we can confidently say Her Honor helps to open doors and inspire minds for many young women facing similar challenges as Rosie. With this in mind, we encourage Rosie and all Her Honor mentees to follow Ciara’s advice: “Make the most of every minute of this opportunity — soak up the learning and think carefully how you can apply it to build a brighter future for yourself.”
In their own words...
Three words you use to describe yourself?
Rosie: Learner, insightful, trustworthy
Ciara: Passionate, caring, hard working