Juan Negrón Returns to Share His Triumphs
Juan Negrón always comes back to Robinson when he returns to visit his family in Puerto Rico and this year was no different. He addressed our juniors and seniors in the Auditorium this past October 14 and shared how his experiences at Robinson paved his way to current position as Executive Assistant in Latino Outreach to U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty from Ohio.
Since graduating from Robinson in 2012, Juan Negrón received a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) in Public and Media Relations from University of Puerto Rico just 3 ½ years later by taking extra credits. He met President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama professionally and socially. And he shocked his colleagues when he unknowingly asked Mary Barra, General Motors Chairman/CEO, to dance at a gala event simply because he could tell that she wanted to. He has learned hard-won lessons and faced challenges with humility and grace, always remaining true to himself and the values he learned at Robinson. “Always be humble, follow your dreams, and trust your intuition. You know what’s right and wrong. And always be yourself whether talking to the President or a homeless person,” he advised his fellow Robinsonians.
Juan credits his personal and professional achievements to the education he received from Robinson and how it built the character he needed to succeed: always strive to keep learning and be the best you can. Robinson also taught Juan risk-taking and resilience, two more critical keys to success. “If you have the courage to run, you also have the courage to fall and pick yourself up,” he noted when reflecting on obstacles he has overcome.
He praised Robinson for not only preparing him academically, but also for instilling a sense of professionalism and perseverance that paid off during his junior year at UPR when he earned a coveted internship with the Federal Diversity Internship Initiative. Only 20 students from Puerto Rico are chosen for this internship which helps students from diverse backgrounds access opportunities in the field of public civil service. His goal was to learn about public policy in Washington and bring back what he learned to Puerto Rico.
After the last change of administration in Puerto Rico, Juan didn’t know what he was going to do. He struck up a conversation with Kimberly Ross, Congresswoman Beatty’s chief of staff, and expressed his concerns. When she told him that there was an opportunity at her office, Juan put his Robinson skills to work and got the job!
Juan researched and prepared himself for the 4 interviews against 5 other candidates with more much more experience. Ms. Ross said that Juan got the job because “he came in determined.” He said, “I’m not here about you. I’m here to tell you what you need that I can contribute.”
At twenty-two, Juan is the “baby” of his master’s program in Public Politics and Media Communications at John Hopkins University. Although he’s felt intimidated at times, he also knows that the youth are the future leadership, and the current leadership knows that. They have an important voice that must be addressed and included. “Confront your limitations to overcome them. Never underestimate yourself because of your age or inexperience. Wake up every day to do your best.”
Thanks for sharing your experiences and success with us, Juan! And thanks for always coming home to Robinson!