Nico Jose, Class of 2010
July 15, 2009
Hometown: Makati, Philippines
High School: International School Manila
Major: Environmental Studies
Minor: Studio Art
Nico chose to study at Lewis & Clark because he describes the school as “a giant garden that teaches about balancing one’s life, opening opportunities, and challenging one’s perspectives beyond the school’s grassy borders.”
Nico believes that he has came a long way from the often unsafe conditions and persistent poverty that he saw growing up in the Philippines. He believes that it is important to see and hear all sides of a story and that’s why he is at Lewis & Clark. Nico studied in an all-boys Catholic school for 11 years before transferring to International School Manila for high school. Currently, Nico is studying in America in his junior year and he still feels fortunate to be at Lewis & Clark.
Nico is fascinated with meeting people from all walks of life and with trying new things that he never experienced in the Philippines. Never in his life could he imagine himself snowboarding on Mt. Hood, or waking up at 5:00 am to row for the crew team or running 9 miles once a week from Lewis & Clark to downtown Portland.
He arrived at Lewis & Clark unsure of his major. But after taking different introductory classes–from communications to economics, from theatre to art history and from philosophy to environmental studies–he decided to major in environmental studies and minor in studio art. Nico says “the beauty of a liberal arts college is that there are no boundaries to discovery and opportunities.”
While at Lewis & Clark, Nico has let his creativity flow and he has developed and practiced different skills. He picked up carpentry when he volunteered for theatre productions. He created some intriguing sculptures for the Environmental Studies Department and his art works were featured at the Gender Studies Symposium. Each year he has participated in the International Fair, sharing part of his culture either by singing or performing skits.
Nico has also had time to express himself in different mediums. He is the vice president of the L&C dance club. He has written poems and essays for student publications such as Living Mosaic, Polyglot and the Meridian. He recently participated in Race Monologues during the Ray Warren Multicultural Symposium where he presented “Here I stand before you” – his own definition of the Filipino people.
Being in a liberal arts college has inspired Nico to think more about what he wants to do with his life. After three years he now sees education as the correlation between thought and understanding. If you ask Nico what he is doing with his time at Lewis & Clark, he would say that he is practicing the idea of a modern pioneer by living the principles of the Lewis & Clark motto–”to explore, to learn and to work together.”