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For the love of her city

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Through SA2020, Andrea Medina demonstrates deep affection for San Antonio

by Carlos Anchondo '14

When Andrea Medina ’15 made the transition from high school to college, all she had to do was drive across the street. A graduate of Incarnate Word High School, Medina chose to remain in San Antonio for Trinity’s reputation and a great financial aid package.

Medina majored in human communication with a minor in entrepreneurship. She currently serves as a communication assistant with SA2020, a nonprofit created by San Antonio residents with a vision of where they want to see the city by the year 2020. Medina manages SA2020’s social media channels, schedules company presentations in the community, and communicates with businesses and organizations looking for endorsements.

“I care about this city a lot,” Medina says. “We have an opportunity right now to improve what’s existing and to look forward. We are at this really cool point in time in San Antonio where everything is growing and building.”

As a member of the first-year entrepreneurship hall, Medina polished her leadership expertise with 3 Day Startup, which teaches entrepreneurship skills to university students, and Geekdom, an organization which unites entrepreneurs, developers, creative types, technologists, and others to build things together.

Medina loved the approach of engineering professor Mahbub Uddin, who served as an intro-level seminar teacher for Medina’s hall.

“He encouraged us to get out there and get to work, not placing any limits on ideas that we had,” Medina says. “This was something that inspired me to attain whatever I wanted and it was like a playground, because nothing was wrong, per se, in that class.”

Medina credits her experience with 3 Day Startup with providing her with the confidence to enter any room and express her ideas articulately and without trepidation.

“The 3 Day Startup program put me into a room where I was totally out of my comfort zone and prepared me to really take initiative and not be afraid to go up to an adult and ask them questions or challenge what they were thinking,” Medina says. “It created a sense of fearlessness that I think every student should be able to experience at some point.”

In addition to living on the Entrepreneurship Hall, Medina was a member of the professional business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, a member of social sorority Gamma Chi Delta, a mentor for the Freshman Leadership Experience and Sophomore Leadership Initiative, and a volunteer with local theater The Playhouse.

Citing Trinity’s close proximity to downtown, Medina says that all students should get involved in the San Antonio community. Whether students are looking for a place to intern or volunteer, or just for a weekend activity, Medina says the Trinity area is ripe for the taking.

“Within minutes of campus, there are various ways to get involved,” Medina says. “There are theaters, art organizations, companies that are very open and responsive to interns…I love that energy.”

One puzzle that Medina and SA2020 are currently trying to solve is how people should approach the organization regarding the endorsement process. Medina was one of the team members who created a process to determine valid criteria and streamlined SA2020 into eleven separate cause areas, from health and fitness to education and more.

As Medina transitions from Trinity to the professional world, she looks back at the faculty and staff who have helped her find her wings.

“There is this trust where everyone respects each other and treats one another as a legitimate accessory to being able to create something that’s very important for the entire world,” Medina says. “You really get to know professors at Trinity and I love that accessibility.”

Medina now works full time with SA2020 and has plans to eventually pursue a postgraduate degree in leadership studies. Whatever happens, San Antonio will always be her hometown and the place where Medina helped her city take flight.

Carlos Anchondo is a writer and editor for marketing communications and a 2014 Trinity graduate. He can be found on Twitter at @cjanchondo or canchond [at] trinity.edu.