I am Smith

Andrea Botello

Andrea Botello Portrait
About Andrea

Class of 2020

Denver, Colorado


AEMES (Achieving Excellence in Math, Engineering and Sciences) Scholar

First Gen Out Loud

Latin American Students’ Organization (LASO)

Scholarship Recipient

Why did you choose to come to Smith?
“I first visited Smith as part of the Women of Distinction program, and I saw women on campus in roles of authority who weren't afraid to pursue their interests and speak up. I immediately felt I was in a safe community. I knew I would be challenged but I also knew I would have a support system to guide me.”

What are you studying?
“I want to pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience, maybe even an M.D.–Ph.D. I’m currently working with zebrafish embryos, visualizing connections in their brains, and it’s fascinating.”

What is an accomplishment you are particularly proud of?
“Presenting research at the AEMES Symposium as well as a digital story at Collaborations. I’ve had a fear of public speaking and these opportunities gave me a chance to overcome that fear.”

What is your favorite thing about Smith?
“How professors and staff genuinely care and are here to support us and help us succeed.”

Which faculty or staff member stands out for you and why?
“Valerie Joseph. She has unwavering patience and an incredible ability to disentangle one's thoughts. Whenever I check in with her I find that I have no fear of being wrong; she is fully present and has very insightful comments and suggestions.”

What is your favorite class so far?
“Organic Chemistry. This class has challenged me time and time again but I have molded my study habits because of it. Chemistry really tests one’s grit, but getting back an exam and seeing an improvement is the best feeling.”

“Professors and staff genuinely care and are here to support us and help us succeed.”

How has your financial aid impacted you and your ability to come to Smith?
“When I received Smith’s award letter I was elated by the amount of aid I was given, not because of the monetary value, but because of the fact that as an institution Smith really wanted me to be part of the college and they were willing to help me get here. My parents have always supported my decision to attend college, especially as a first generation student, but I wasn't sure if they could help me financially. I was prepared to take a gap between high school and college in order to work and earn money to pay for my tuition. Looking back, had I taken that route, I probably wouldn't have returned to college.”

Andrea Botello holding a sign saying This community gives me the courage to explore new ideas

Contact Us

To make an endowed gift or to learn more about supporting financial aid at Smith, please contact Betsy Carpenter ’93, associate vice president for development, at 413-585-2052 or ewcarpen@smith.edu.