Nitara Ortiz: MCVA Student and Diversity Advocate

Nitara Ortiz

Nitara Ortiz

Nitara Ortiz

Nitara Ortiz

Nitara Ortiz

Adiba Sikder, Feature Editor

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When Nitara Ortiz, a junior at Pace, walks in to a room, she immediately becomes noticed for her boxed braids and brown skin.

Ortiz believes that, often, this attention can feel negative. However, she accepts it with open arms because she loves standing out in a crowd, especially at Pace.

The half-Puerto Rican and half-Guyanese student  considers her culture to be a big part of who she is.

“Diversity is an amazing thing. Be who you are and work with it,” said Ortiz.

Ortiz pridefully boasts about her roots to the people around her and isn’t afraid to teach people about her culture when they question her actions, clothing, or demeanor.

Although Ortiz has a lot of confidence in herself and who she is now, she recalls a time when she wasn’t and how her experience at Pace has helped her evolve.

“In high school I was surrounded by a lot of toxic people, but it helped me show me who my real friends are,” said Ortiz. “They pushed me to come here because they thought it would be fun.”

A decision that was made because it sounded like it might be fun, ended up becoming a fulfilling and enriching experience for her.

Ortiz acknowledges that she learned more about film and photography during her college career then she would have if she didn’t attend Pace.

“I love taking pictures of people. People are so beautiful. Beauty exceeds shape, size, and color,” said Ortiz.

Ortiz has body dysmorphia and works to fight it everyday and wants to help remove the stigma of having a perfect body shape by taking photographs of diverse people.

“I take pictures of my best friends and it makes me so happy to know that people like the pictures I take of them and see the beauty in themselves,” said Ortiz.

One of the biggest reasons that she loves her time at Pace is because of the connections that she has made through professors which has helped her gain experience and get her dream internships.

Ortiz is  currently an intern for a casting company belonging to Rob Decina, a casting professor at Pace through his own recommendation.

“Pace is great for connections. I found an amazing internship that I truly enjoy. I’ve been learning a lot from them,” said Ortiz.

Ortiz believes that students that are pushed, even slightly, to go to college should go because there are endless career possibilities and opportunities waiting for them.

“It might not be for everyone, but if you’re torn, you should go and find out what you love. Try a little bit of everything until you find what you love but don’t give up just because it’s a little hard,” said Ortiz.

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