Longboarder: Luis Espinal

Luis EspinalLafayette’s “why not?” tells Luis Espinal that he has options. “It says that I am not restricted to learning just about my major, but I can learn about other things, too. Lafayette is a place where I can learn with no barriers.”

  • BEGINNINGS: Born in the Dominican Republic (his favorite vacation spot), Espinal and his family moved to New York City when he was 11. He graduated from The James Baldwin School and is a Posse Scholar.
  • ACADEMIC FOCUS: Espinal always imagined himself an engineer but has other interests, too— speechwriter, lawyer, teacher, critic, newspaper editor, artist—and is eager to learn about all those fields. “I want to be an engineer, but I don’t want to be just an engineer. I want to be a well-rounded person.”
  • ANALYST: Espinal is interested in how educational approaches change from high school to college. “I’m excited about the new opportunities and experiences that I will have. I like studying systems and seeing how they differ from place to place.”
  • BREAKING STEROTYPES: An avid longboarder, Espinal likes the thrill but also turning the skater stereotype on its ear. “It’s a sport full of judgments and stereotypes. When someone sees me riding, I usually get the look that says, ‘Look at him, another failure,’ and that’s because of the misconceptions—people judge without getting to know them. I know who I am, and I’m fighting the stereotype, trying to change it by presenting a different face.”
    • Book: The Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
    • Movie: Ratatouille
    • TV Show: One Piece
    • Food: mom’s spaghetti
    • Song: “Wings” by Macklemore
    • Quote: “Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it.” —James A. Baldwin
    • Last Word: “I want to let myself get to know other people instead of judging them at first glance and moving on.”