Breaking Barriers – Victoria Gamboa Ross

Breaking Barriers - Victoria Gamboa Ross


Graduation Year: 1993
University: Universidad de Costa Rica, Florida International University, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica and Instituto Centroamericano de Administración Pública

What did you study?
Political science, journalism and mass communication, project management and public policy

Where are you now?
Costa Rica, involved in many civil society ventures and politics

How do you feel BSCR prepare you for your career?
BSCR prepared me for life, rather than just career, by opening my world view through the life experiences of a very well-prepared, well-travelled and well-cultured staff. The curriculum and the staff made me think constantly about the world outside of our bubble, to recognize privileges, gaps, things that needed to be better, including our own selves, and make us thing that a better future was always possible, and that we would have to be hands-on actors in that transformation towards a better society.

How did BSCR prepare you as a person?
It made me aware, more conscious that the world extended far and beyond our personal perspective.

We like to think BSCR alumni break barriers, how do you think this applies to you?
I remember being the first woman in Central America to be awarded the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award (now called differently). I couldn’t believe that I was, it seemed unbelievable that that was the case. It taught me first hand about disparity and gaps, regarding people in the world: not only women, economic disparity, cognitive disparity and  more. Among the many barriers I’ve shattered throughout the years, I was the third woman to lead Rotary San José since its foundation (the last one had been president over twenty years prior to my election) over 90 years ago, and the first woman to hand over the presidency to another woman. I was also the youngest woman to run in the presidential ticket in the 2018 elections (second youngest overall, only second to now-president Carlos Alvarado).

What’s your greatest memory from your time at BSCR?
Loving going to class. While I do consider myself a nerd at heart, it takes amazing work from teachers and the school to generate that feeling in students, and I am always grateful for that.

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