City-crossed friends bond through matching tattoos

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“Any idea sounds like a good idea at 3 o’clock in the morning,” said junior Jessica Villatorro, as she recounted the night her and five other girls sprawled across the United States decided to etch a symbol on their bodies that would connect them for a lifetime. 

Villatorro, along with sophomore Jovahana Avila and non-St. Edward’s students Mercedes Mercado, Natalie Medina, Andrea Lozano and Samantha Cortez decided to get a tattoo of a delta with an arrow on top in the summer 2016 after their life-changing involvement with the National Hispanic Institute. 

In a week when the girls got less than 15 hours of sleep, University of North Texas student, Mercado, and Villanova University student, Medina, proposed the idea of getting matching tattoos to symbolize their journeys connected by the institute. 

Even when Villatoro and Avila thought the girls were joking, Villatoro perused through Pinterest for inspiration for what would be all but Mercado’s and Medina’s first tattoo.

In the end, the six girls agreed to an open delta, to symbolize openness to change, along with an arrow on top, to symbolize moving forward. 

“It symbolizes everyone’s journey,” Villatoro said. “It shows everyone’s different stories.”

Avila attested that the National Hispanic Institute is what propelled her to think outside of the box, and the tattoo amply exemplifies this.

“[The tattoo] showed how this program gave the opportunity to change,” Avila said. “To take the lead and get out of my comfort zone.”

Villatoro and Mercado explained that the tattoo showcases the fundamental message of adjusting to any situation that was presented. 

“To learn to adapt and execute,” Villatoro said. “Keeping an open mind, moving forward.”

“No matter the situation, I have the ability to adapt and move forward,” Mercado said.

While the tattoo serves as a reminder of the variety in journeys, it has also proved to be helpful in overcoming personal hurdles. 

UT Rio Grande Valley student, Andrea Lozano, attests to how the tattoo reminds her to accept the unexpected. 

“This program helped me get through my number one anxiety trigger: change,” Lozano said. “It taught how to not only deal with it, but excel from it.”

Even as these six women are separated by schools in Austin, north and south Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania, they are still able to be forever united by a tattoo that highlights the unrelenting strength of sisterhood. 

“We all intersect in various ways,” said Denison University student Samantha Cortez. “And getting that tattoo was the cherry on top of strengthening our bond.” 

Avila thinks of the tattoo as not only a reminder of her own personal growth but of her everlasting connection with these five girls. 

“I’m always moving forward,” Avila said. “We all are connected by this tattoo.” 

After a life-changing summer, these six girls can look at a tattoo and see the result of connection and unity. 

“It symbolizes that we are stronger,” Mercado said. “Together we can make a greater impact.” 

“Any idea sounds like a good idea at 3 o’clock in the morning,” said junior Jessica Villatorro, as she recounted the night her and five other girls sprawled across the United States decided to etch a symbol on their bodies that would connect them for a lifetime.

 

Villatorro, along with sophomore Jovahana Avila and non-St. Edward’s students Mercedes Mercado, Natalie Medina, Andrea Lozano and Samantha Cortez decided to get a tattoo of a delta with an arrow on top in the summer 2016 after their life-changing involvement with the National Hispanic Institute.

In a week when the girls got less than 15 hours of sleep, University of North Texas student, Mercado, and Villanova University student, Medina, proposed the idea of getting matching tattoos to symbolize their journeys connected by the institute.

 

Even when Villatoro and Avila thought the girls were joking, Villatoro perused through Pinterest for inspiration for what would be all but Mercado’s and Medina’s first tattoo.

 

In the end, the six girls agreed to an open delta, to symbolize openness to change, along with an arrow on top, to symbolize moving forward.

“It symbolizes everyone’s journey,” Villatoro said. “It shows everyone’s different stories.”

 

Avila attested that the National Hispanic Institute is what propelled her to think outside of the box, and the tattoo amply exemplifies this.

 

“[The tattoo] showed how this program gave the opportunity to change,” Avila said. “To take the lead and get out of my comfort zone.”

 

Villatoro and Mercado explained that the tattoo showcases the fundamental message of adjusting to any situation that was presented.

 

“To learn to adapt and execute,” Villatoro said. “Keeping an open mind, moving forward.”

 

“No matter the situation, I have the ability to adapt and move forward,” Mercado said.

 

While the tattoo serves as a reminder of the variety in journeys, it has also proved to be helpful in overcoming personal hurdles.

 

UT Rio Grande Valley student, Andrea Lozano, attests to how the tattoo reminds her to accept the unexpected.

 

“This program helped me get through my number one anxiety trigger: change,” Lozano said. “It taught how to not only deal with it, but excel from it.”

 

Even as these six women are separated by schools in Austin, north and south Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania, they are still able to be forever united by a tattoo that highlights the unrelenting strength of sisterhood.

 

“We all intersect in various ways,” said Denison University student Samantha Cortez. “And getting that tattoo was the cherry on top of strengthening our bond.”

 

Avila thinks of the tattoo as not only a reminder of her own personal growth but of her everlasting connection with these five girls.

 

“I’m always moving forward,” Avila said. “We all are connected by this tattoo.”

 

After a life-changing summer, these six girls can look at a tattoo and see the result of connection and unity.

 

“It symbolizes that we are stronger,” Mercado said. “Together we can make a greater impact.”