By Matthew Kelly
The task of being the director of a residence hall is no small feat: Meet Finlay Hall’s director Ana Medina.
A Bronx native having lived most her childhood over on Sedgwick Avenue, Ms. Medina grew up in a neighborhood where there was gang violence. She attended Theodore Roosevelt High School not far from Rose Hill, which at the time was undergoing a ‘phasing out’ process, where the school divided students into different specialties. Within a week at Roosevelt she was selected for the Belmont Preparatory High School program, designed to prepare students for college.
Now at Belmont, Ms. Medina sought to escape the cliquey environment within the school, and quickly established herself within the school’s JROTC program. She spent her scheduled lunch period in the JROTC offices while earning an extra credit towards her diploma, eventually becoming the unit’s commander.
Perhaps the greatest hurtle she faced came during her senior year, when her family relocated from the Bronx to Harlem. Ana told me the greatest difficulty came in leaving a community she shared cultural similarities with in the Bronx, to being an outsider in her new community in Harlem. But rather than letting her environment get the best of her, she says she drew on the negative energy surrounding her and used it as motivation in the years after she graduated from college.
After graduating from Mount St. Vincent, Ms. Medina pursued non-profit work, having worked for organizations including TRIO, an outreach program for first-generation college students. She later worked for four years at the Sports and Arts in School Foundation, where she eventually became a program director for after school programs for children.
Ms. Medina found her way to Fordham, first as the resident director in O’Hare Hall and is now in Finlay Hall. Her passion for non-profits and commitment to help others has driven Ana to the success she has seen throughout her career to this point. In the future she plans to attain her masters in Nonprofit Leadership to further help first generation scholarship students.