Pamela Portocarrero, one of our Honors alumna, graduated as a first-generation college student in 2014 with dual Bachelor’s Degrees in International Studies and Political Science. Her first career out of college was working as a college access advisor in the Utah College Advising Corps (UCAC) where she provided support for underserved high school students to receive equal opportunities to prepare for and enter college.
In 2017 Pamela graduated with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She then moved to Boston, Massachusetts and worked as a Development Assistant at Harvard University where she carried out fundraising initiatives and alumni engagement.
She is currently working as a Government Innovation Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab. In this role, she works directly with local and state governments to help them streamline their processes, implement effective governance, put new research into action, and improve their services. One of her current projects focuses on coaching government officials from five US and Latin American cities on their procurement systems. Her ultimate goal is to help governments widen their lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the operation of the services they provide.
During Pamela’s time in the Honors College, her most cherished memory was participating in the Social Justice Scholars Program, now called the Praxis Lab, where she worked on various projects centered on human rights, social equity and social justice. Her team became a home base of support and friendship, where she could enjoy associating with students who were likeminded in their goals to create community change. Pamela is also grateful for her connection to Honors professors and the key role that they have played in helping her navigate her career path and inspiring her to pursue public service.
Pamela’s advice for student success is to take advantage of opportunities on campus, participate in real community experiences, and widen your network. She believes that who you know plays a powerful role in helping you get into the workplace.
We are grateful for our many alumni who have meaningful experiences in the Honors College and are able to bring their skills and education into the world. We are so proud of Pamela and the impact she makes in her community.