Florida native makes impact as RA

The residents of Grossman 3 are grateful for their RA, someone they know they can turn to after a long day.

Sulibeth Velez is in charge of 25 female residents. She is required to have four floor activities that center around the four pillars of Wartburg: service, faith, learning and leadership. She also hosts more laid back floor activities, like crafts or movie nights.

“If we have floor programs we can talk about anything because that’s how close our relationship is,” she said. “I will always be here for them when they need me.”

Velez says most upperclassman tend not to rely on RA’s, but her floor has been much different. She says she has a close relationship with almost all of her residents. One of those residents, Emily Christianson, agrees.

“She’s always there for you if you need to talk to her about anything. She keeps the floor pretty calm and collected,” Christianson said.

And even though she has loved her time so far at Wartburg, going to school in Iowa was never part of her plan. Velez grew up in Florida, where she only completed about a year of high school. Because of that, she chose to attend a local community college.

Her boyfriend, Alexies Escotto, left Florida for Wartburg to be a member of the track team. Velez also was involved in track and competed in the hammer throw. Escotto talked to track and field head coach Marcus Newsom about her abilities, which eventually led to her being recruited for the team.

“Coach Newsom saw some videos of me throwing and was amazed at my ability to throw the hammer,” she said. “He came to Florida and talked to me, he talked to my parents, and he recruited me. ”

Sulibeth likes Iowa because of how friendly people are in the small community of Waverly. But she also misses Florida. While she was there, she worked for some exciting places, like SeaWorld and Disney World.

She worked in the food and beverage department at both parks, but she had some interesting stories from her time spent at Magic Kingdom. She said Magic Kingdom has a lot of tunnels running underneath the park to help employees beat the Florida traffic. Those tunnels came in handy one day when she was late.

“I was running through the tunnels to get to my shift,” she explained. “They get you anywhere in the park, but they’re really long. So I ended up being late anyways.”

Although Velez’s time as an RA will be ending soon, she said she’s learned a lot this year.

“It’s helped me learn leadership skills and communication skills,” she said. “I take this as a job preparing me for the future.”



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