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La Negra Tiene Tumbao

La Negra tiene Tumbao translated in English means the black girl has swagger.

It’s one of my favorite songs by the late great Afro-Latin artist Celia Cruz.  I listen to it every morning and it gives me that extra pick me up.  Not that I need it. My life isn’t perfect, but I’ve been blessed with a supportive family, awesome friends, and mentors, and tremendous God-given opportunities.  Coming UT was diffidently one of those blessings.

I am from the wonderful city of Houston, Texas and I graduated from North Forest High School.  Even though I’m from an underprivileged neighborhood, my mom and dad instilled in my brothers and I that we could achieve our dreams and then some.  Top that off with the inspiring high school mentors like Ms. Fance, our College Counselor, and you’ve got the recipe for success. Where you come from doesn’t determine where you are going. I could give a tear jerking story about my experience (I’m an overly dramatic Theater Major) but that’s another story for another time.

Our Lady of Peace

Our Lady of Peace

Acting and writing are passions that I indulge in.  During my time at UT, I’ve acted in quite a few plays including 2010 The New Works Festival’s Our Lady of Peace (Actor), and a Lab Theater Piece I wrote called Ice Cold Milk and an Oreo Cookie.  I am even writing a play right now…more on that later.

SCHOOL: So before I get into the Austin scene, the social scene, or any of the other scenes, lets get into that academic scene.  I’m a Junior majoring in Theatre and Dance (No, I can’t dance!) with a focus on Acting and Latin American Studies.  I absolutely LOVE my majors, and I couldn’t picture myself studying anything else.  As far as my career goes, I want to do something that deals with Spanish, Theatre/Film, and Afro-Latin culture.  You may have guessed it with the Celia Cruz reference, learning about Black culture in Latin America is my passion.

Innervisions Gospel Choir

Innervisions Gospel Choir

When I’m not in school, doing homework, or studying, I’m working on my passions.  Singing with Innervisions Gospel Choir is one the best decisions I made in my college career.  The choir has become like a family, and I enjoy every minute of it.  LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) is another organization I’m involved in as the Parliamentarian, and UT Service Scholars as the Community Service Chair.  Yes, it’s a lot of time, and effort, but these orgs have helped me grow into the person I am today.

WITH MY FREE TIME: I’m hitting up concerts, enjoying the company of my friends, going to plays, and films, and any artistic event I can get my hands on.  Austin is the live music place, and I take advantage of that.  I’ve seen Sara Barilles, The Script, and Owl City in concert, and had my first Austin City Limits Experience with my friend Lydia this year!

I HAVE YET TO: Yeah, I’ve been here for 2 years, but I have yet to wear Burnt Orange at a football game, sleep in the Union, go to the Orange and White Ball, study aboard, or make a semester gpa of 3.8 or above.  All of these things I’m planning to scratch off my to-do-before-I-graduate-list pretty soon.

I’ll be letting you know about my experiences here in Longhorn Land, but I’m always interested in what you want to find out more about.  If you ever have any questions send me an email at  I always reply :)

By the way it’s Thursday, 7:10 pm (when I’m writing this), and OU still sucks.

I love being a Longhorn!

I love being a Longhorn!

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October 11, 2011 | | Comments are closed for this post

12 Comments to La Negra Tiene Tumbao

Can I meet you Ms. Jelisa? You seem like you’re such an amazing person!

November 9, 2011
— Ja'Michael Darnell

The title “La Negra Tiene Tumbao” is fascinating. “Swagger” is how you present yourself to the world. The most important statement in your article to me is “where you come from doesn’t determine where you are going.” UT students is given an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of such a prestigious college. As a graduate of UT you will have prevailed against all odds.

—Lenora Robinson—

November 10, 2011
— Lenora Robinson

Jelisa!!! I am so proud of you and what you have become! I am excited about this accomplishment and I know that you will do great with this blog. You’re beautiful and so is your story. Keep that swagger girl!

November 11, 2011
— Jasmine

Great to read about you here, Jay!

November 12, 2011
— Roxanne

I loved your blog post! It makes me excited to know that you are enjoying UT just as much as I am! You’re awesome!! :D

November 12, 2011
— Jorge

Read Jelisa’s reflections about her Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Pre Grad Internship experience:

Learn more about IE:

We are so proud of you, Jelisa!

November 12, 2011
— Rick Cherwitz, Professor

You are a a great friend and most importantly, an amazing person. I am blessed to have met and include you in my college experience. I see you going far and reaching new heights. Thank you for being in my life.

November 14, 2011
— MyHanh Ta

Great song (I know it well!) and great blog start. Looking forward to reading more. Just remember: OU can’t be that bad if I came from there!

November 14, 2011
— Christine Fisher

I am Proud of you Rob!! Keeping reaching high!

November 14, 2011
— Marcus Williams

Jay!! I just happened to luck upon this, and was so shocked when I realized “Hey I know this chick!” I am so glad you are utilizing all of the resources UT has to offer and really putting yourself out there to show the world who you are. This really inspires me. Keep doing great things, as I know you are going to do anyways. And ONE DAY we will have lunch :)

November 15, 2011
— Danielle Wright

I really like it! Congratulations on becoming at UT Confidential Blogger and making so many accomplishments at UT! I expect great things from you. :)

November 15, 2011
— Polly

Ms. Determined!

I am very proud of you! Continue running your race until you reach the finish line!

December 27, 2011
— Sandra Thompson
photo of Jelisa