PATH Alumni Spotlight: Arielle Amante

PATH Cohort Class of 2018 – UCSD Class of 2020

March 30, 2021

You know how there are 8 billion people on the planet?” says Arielle. “Those are 8 billion worlds I can learn about!”  

This is the common ethos seen in the work of recent 2020 Literature and Writing graduate, Arielle Amante. 

Arielle learned about PATH from San Diego Mesa College English professor and PATH Coordinator, Pegah Motaleb, who she credits as being her mentor and appreciates as one of her dearest friends. At the time, Amante had gone back and forth between being a Business and English major. Eventually, however, she chose to pursue her passion for creative writing and believe in her ability to succeed in a fulfilling career with an arts and humanities background. PATH was everything she was looking for—and more. 

I bled my soul into that application. UC San Diego was my dream school for a decade, and I knew that I belonged in its Literature program. When I stepped on campus for the first time, I felt an electrifying energy I had never experienced before. Therefore, I decided to take a chance on the career path I truly wanted to pursue. I would have regretted not taking that risk for the rest of my life.”

Amante was able to show her passion for campus when she presented “Articulating the Discord: How San Diego’s PATH is Attempting to De-Instrumentalize Education” alongside other PATH students and representatives at the Community Colleges and the Future of the Humanities Conference in New York City, October 2018. In addition to speaking about her experience with PATH, she was also able to expand on KNIT, the digital common room between UC schools and San Diego Community College District—of which Amante was a developer and researcher for. “Besides fulfillment, I knew my time with PATH and majoring in the arts and humanities would become the stepping stones for my future—and I was going to be proud, relentless, vicious, and unapologetic about it. ”

Amante was also able to present her research proposal, “Education through Empathy: Understanding Mental Illness through Literature”, where she was able to explicate her ideas about using literature as a tool to educate people on mental health at the Reclaiming the Humanities: Resistance, Justice, & the Arts Conference in San Diego, April 2018. 

“The idea came to mind when I read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. While reading, I thought, is it possible, through perhaps studying a life in its entirety in a fictional story, can you identify the specific areas that would dictate or determine the beginning of a mental illness?” 

Amante’s skills in research and her shining empathy are also relevant to her creative writing. For her, speculative fiction and poetry are both areas of study and her genres of choice. She loves poetry for its ability to explain the inexplicable, while fiction allows her to explore limitless and surreal worlds. “Im addicted to the feeling of imagining different things, and am endlessly curious about other people and storytelling as a whole; theres always something else I can understand, something else I can educate myself on. ”

Arielle is currently seeking to be a poetry editor or reader where her curiosity for finding new worlds will undoubtedly lead to beautiful understandings. 

Her advice for PATH students: “Never underestimate your abilities and potential. What’s more, trust and value yourself with unwavering belief and pride. You’re going to contribute something incredible to this world.” 

Written by Demree McGhee

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