Jimmy Barrios

Major: Mathematics and Economics

Personal Statement

Lafayette has a magic to it. A hungry bubbly alchemy that I discovered only after my second year where I realized I had the spell all backwards. Cadabra abra.

I started Lafayette as well as one might with gusto, intent on my success alone. By some stroke of fortune, I achieved most of what I set out to do early on: joined the soccer team, secured a job offer, and found the girl of my dreams. It was all on auto-cruise.

The pandemic hit me hard. My father and my grandmother passed away; leaving me a restless black dog that stayed wagging its haunting tail. I discovered then what it meant to fail. My academics fell to the wayside and my friendships suffered no matter how hard I tried. I could not bring myself to focus on anything beyond the grief.

I found the magic when Lafayette called to tell me ‘I love you’ every day and checked up on me when I missed class. It brought me Wawa coffee to Rockwell at 3am and sent me Dean’s excuses before I asked. It cooked me jollof rice and taught me how to dance the azonto. It let me fail and told me I was worthy of its love nonetheless.

So here’s Lafayette’s trick. Its magic. Its spellcraft. The Lafayette Ideal resides in the community that we find here. It is more of collective ambition and less of individual actualization. It is the comforting messages of empathy that accompanied my greatest losses and the euphoric chants of love upon which my will to live often sat astride. That such communion can be kindled spiritedly in a small campus like ours is a testament to the people that are here.

That is what the Ideal means to me.

Abra cadabra.

Academic Activity |years involved|

Posse Foundation Full Tuition Leadership Scholarship |4| The Posse Foundation Scholarship is a four‐year, full‐tuition merit and leadership based scholarship awarded to student leaders during their senior year of high school. During the first two years of college, we had weekly group meetings and bi-weekly mentor meetings targeted at honing leadership & team building skills and cross-cultural communication.

Dean’s List |3| I have earned the Dean’s List for 4 semesters out of the 7 semesters I have been at Lafayette.

Patriot League Academic Honor Roll |1| Awarded to student-athletes who achieve academic excellence during their sports respective season.

Charles A. Dana Foundation Scholarship Program Fund |3| This award is granted to students who achieve academic excellence throughout their college career.

Honors Society |3| Member of the National Honors Society. I was inducted in Fall 2019.

SEO EDGE Fellow |2| The SEO EDGE fellowship is awarded to students who demonstrate hard work and diligence in their academia careers. As a result, these students are granted online coaching to achieve targeted interview, technical, and professional developmental goals and the opportunity to complete industry-specific training focused on developing technical skills and institutional knowledge.

Campus Service |years involved|

Student Government Athletic Affairs Director |1.5| Joined the Athletics Affairs committee as a Chair in Spring 2019 and assumed the role of Director the following semester. With the challenge of a pandemic during my tenure, my committee and I focused on spearheading programs targeted at mental health and academic support during a difficult time for many. We focused on improving engagement levels across the student body by introducing virtual competitions to reduce the impact of COVID-19 disruptions, to simulate the crests and troughs of a normal semester. Furthermore, we facilitated “White-Out” games, arguably the most momentous shows of school spirit in recent history before the pandemic; where the student body came out to support Lafayette sports teams in brilliant white and maroon.

Brothers of Lafayette |3| I was fortunate to receive the mentorship necessary to navigate the college experience as a first generation student of color during my first year from Brothers in upper classes. At the end of my first year, I volunteered in turn to mentor incoming first years and provide them with various resources like academic support, career-oriented guidance, and social support.

Athletes of Color |1| Served as the Lead representative for Lafayette’s Men’s Soccer on the Athletes of Color committee. In this role, I facilitated conversations surrounding social justice issues through dialogue and bringing on guest speakers like Dr.Jermaine Scott, an assistant professor of history at Florida Atlantic University. Additionally, we focused on fostering an environment for athletes of color to discuss their college experience, create a network with alumni, and career oriented guidance.

ISA International Orientation Team |2| I served as a Peer Advisor for the International Student classes of 2024 and 2025 where I helped new students get acclimated to Lafayette and feel welcome. My roles often included welcoming and transporting students from the airports, bringing my trademark cheer and good vibes, and facilitating orientation activities.

Lafayette Caribbean and African Dance Club |2| I translated my love for dance by joining a group that fostered a space for Lafayette students to demonstrate their creative and artistic abilities while understanding the culture of Caribbean and African countries. I participated in choreographing dances, teaching them to other members of the club and performing during the Afro-Caribbean Showcase.

Lafayette Yoga Wellness Group |1| Like many during this pandemic, I lost people dear to me most notably my father and grandmother. I was recommended yoga and started active practice in the aftermath of those losses as a form of therapy and found it incredibly healing. Upon my return to campus, I founded the Lafayette Yoga Wellness Group for students to participate in weekly sessions with a professional instructor as an avenue to work on their physical, mental and spiritual health.

 Community Service |years involved|

Ernst and Young Campus Ambassador |3| Collaborated with the EY recruiting team in finding talent and providing interviewing resources to students, especially those of color. I helped facilitate interview preps and connect multiple Lafayette students to recruiters at EY with some students securing internship offers in turn.

SEO Career Ambassador |2| I partnered with the SEO Career Program recruiting team to connect Black, Latinx and Native American students on campus to career opportunities in Fortune 500 companies. I also aided with interview prep and case prep for students who were interested in consulting careers.

St Baldricks Foundation |2| Shaved my head in an effort to raise awareness about childhood cancer and show empathy with child cancer patients. Additionally, I contributed to the fundraising dedicated to further research regarding childhood cancer, which helped increase the 5 year survival rate from 79% to 85%.

Earn Your Spots Book Club |1| Co Founded with Lafayette’s Men’s soccer team during Spring 2021, designed to promote literacy in marginalized communities in the Easton area, ranging from Kindergarten to as high as fifth grade. This initiative included partnerships with organizations such as Boy and Girls club, YMCA School age program and the Easton Area Public School Library to name a few. We were able to fundraise over $5,000 and distributed over 1000 free books.

Read Across America |2| Participated in the yearly event, in which athletes and members of the athletic department would go to schools in the Easton Area such as Paxinosa and Chester elementary schools to do a read-alouds and promote academic excellence.

American Red Cross Sleeve’ Up Program |3| A program in which I was able to participate in blood donation that contributed to saving up to 3 patients in critical need annually around the world.

LaFarm |1| Volunteered to assist the members of LaFarm in integrating a curriculum and practice in sustainable food and agriculture for the campus community by growing various foods including but not limited to, tomatoes and potatoes. This resulted in us providing more safe, nutritional and healthy food to the entire community.

Athletic Activity |years involved|

Lafayette Men’s Soccer |2.5| After the conclusion of the club’s soccer season, I was given the opportunity to try out for the Division 1 program. I was successfully able to walk-on to the program in which I was able to be an integral part of the teams back to back championships runs in 2019 and 2020. Additionally, during my career, the team went undefeated in the 2020 regular season, resulting in the team being ranked 24th in the country for the first time in program history.

Honduras Men’s U23 National Team |1| One of 3 collegiate players invited to a 60-man preliminary camp to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Despite being one of the youngest players at the camp, with the average age of the players being 3 years older, I was able to make it into the third round of the camp, in which 25 players were invited to proceed with the tryouts.

Allentown United |1| Allentown United is a Soccer club competing in the US Pro Development Soccer League. After having the NCAA postpone the soccer season due to COVID-19 and undergoing shoulder surgery, I was able to join a semi-professional team in which I got the opportunity to play for a renowned soccer club with prestigious players and coaching staff.

Intramural Soccer and Club Soccer |1| As a result of not being initially recruited by the Lafayette Men’s Soccer program, I originally started my athletic career playing intramural soccer in which my team won the tournament. From there, I was promoted to become a member of the Lafayette Club Men’s soccer team in which I appeared in 7 matches and 7 starts, playing a total of 630 minutes.

FA Euro |1| FA euro is a club based in Brooklyn, New York that plays in the United Soccer League two. In my 2018 season with the club, I was the youngest player on the team with the team’s average age being 22. Additionally I was able to compete against the likes of MLS clubs, including the New York Red Bulls and NYCFC.

Lafayette Women’s Basketball Practice Player |2| Assisted the Lafayette Women’s basketball team during their 2019 and 2022 seasons by simulating game-like situations in practice. During my career with them, we were able to win two playoff games, receive several all league awards, and draft a player to the WNBA for the first time in school history.

Special Interest Activity |years involved|

Black Wall Street |1.5| Black Wall Street is an organization my colleagues and I created during the pandemic to promote financial literacy in all spaces, with a focus in BIPOC communities in a time where many lost their jobs. In discussing financial literacy and wealth attainment, we discuss various components including savings, investing, passive income, day trading, crypto, non-fungible tokens and blockchain technology. Since the start of the organization, we were able to amass a community of 250 people in which we were able to generate profits of $2.3 million dollars amongst members over the course of 10 months.

Baby Bro Entertainment |3| As someone entering college without any affiliation, I recognized that it was difficult for students to find social settings that prompted engagement from people who were not on a sports team or a part of a Greek life organization. To meet this demand, my colleague and I created Baby Bro Entertainment, which is a social organization that provides an environment in which all students, regardless of affiliation, can come together and enjoy each other’s fellowship. The organization gained immediate traction, as it surpassed 400 followers on social media two months after being founded.

Ernst and Young: Launch Internship |1| I was able to participate in two internships with EY, with the first being a launch internship, in which students from a diverse background were able to get hands-on experience in various sectors including consulting, audit, assurance and tax. Interns were also able to interact with clientele, which in my case was Disney. In interacting with Disney I got an opportunity to consult them on various ways they could increase their revenue amidst the pandemic, in which my group and I recommended they start streaming, which is what Disney would ultimately go on to do.

Ernst and Young: PPP Loan Internship |1| The second internship was solely focused on audit and tax in which I was able to assist client, Bank of America, in helping Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) recipients and issue Employment Retention Credit (ERC) to small and midsize businesses. Additionally, I was able to analyze and thoroughly evaluate several documents including but not limited to, tax forms, income statements and payroll statements

Ernst and Young: Discovery EY Recipient |1| As a Discovery EY Recipient I was able to get a feel for the kind of work that is done at EY, through a series of business case studies and scenarios, that required me to analyze the situation, collaborate with other attendees and devised real life business issues. I was also able to enhance my network by building relationships with various professionals from across EY’s Service lines, who offered their expert advice and answered any questions regarding EY and their programs. This experience would ultimately jump start my career with EY, as I would go on to accept a full-time position.

Citibank: Freshman Discovery Program Recipient |1| As 1 of 80 students selected from a total of 3,000 applicants, I was presented with the opportunity to hear from senior leaders and recent graduates about Citi’s work culture and learn technical and soft skills to help accelerate career development, such as the fundamental accounting equation.

Gateway Center Career Tracks |1| I participated in the Gateway’s Lehigh Valley Real Estate Tracks my freshman year. During this experience, I was able to establish a network of leading professionals in the industry such as J.B. Reilley and gather industrial knowledge regarding Real-Estate.

FedEx Package Handler |1| I took on the role of a package handler for FedEx in their Bethlehem warehouse. This role entailed employees being able to pass physical evaluations, possess the ability to lift up to 75lbs. and communicate effectively in often-noisy surroundings. I was able to take on this role for the year of 2019, while simultaneously being in season with Lafayette Men’s Soccer.

M.S. 035 Stephen Decatur Camp Counselor |2| In working at M.S 35 on a seasonal basis for two years, I was able to specialize in helping 5th grade students with disabilities develop academic, creative, and artistic abilities through art, film, dance, and sports. Additionally, I monitored and assistant teachers with trips to amusement parks including but not limited to, Dorney Park and Six Flags.

Luna Park Games Operator |1| At Luna Park I was tasked with the responsibilities of overseeing operations at multiple game stations and encouraged clientele to take part in participating in these games, successfully attaining revenue goals of $2,500 a day for 40 consecutive days in the summer.