Jego Fonseca: "I want my son to know...he was my inspiration!"

Jego Fonseca

Jego Fonseca on Ho PlazaWho inspired or influenced you during your time at Cornell?
I wanted to do this for myself and for my family. I want my son to know that his mom did not give up and that he was my inspiration!

What accomplishment as a Cornell student makes you most proud?
Shortly after starting at Cornell, I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I was so anxious and wasn’t sure if I should continue my degree in fear that it would affect my ability to be either a good mom or student. With the support of my family and friends, I decided to push through.

I completed my second semester finals at 9 months pregnant, took a semester break to have my son, and completed the last two semesters while balancing being a first-time mom. I am proud of what I accomplished and happy that I persevered.

What moments, big or small, made your Big Red experience special?
During my first semester at Cornell, I decided to challenge myself and take the machine learning course with Professor You. It had been years since I was in school and I had very minimal programming experience in general, so I was very nervous. After the first homework was assigned, I remember feeling so overwhelmed. I was close to dropping the course because I did not want to set myself up for failure. However, before I made that decision, I decided to go to office hours.

As a distance learning student, it was nice to see options for help that took my work and life schedule into consideration. I met Professor You for the first time and pretty much admitted to him how behind I felt. His response was so understanding and genuine that it caught me off guard. I clearly remember him telling me that the reason he was a teacher was to help his students learn. He told me that he was willing to help me with whatever topic I needed in order to succeed.

This moment alone made me so proud to be a systems student at Cornell and gave me the confidence I needed to succeed.

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