Lady Code is very excited to introduce to you the newest addition to our team Abby Zelaya, Gaby Boateng and Vlad Gradinariu. Abby and Gaby are our interns and we are thrilled to have them on board. They will be coming to you with freshly pressed posts on interesting topics. Vlad Gradinariu is sharing his creative skills and passion for photography with us by keeping our Instagram in tip top shape with amazing pictures.
Get to know them:
Abby Zelaya is a first generation undergraduate candidate at Marymount University aspiring a career in what she calls, the creative writing spectrum. As a daughter of immigrants and a second-born American in her family, she grew up with a passion in discovering cultures and traditions encompassed in the arts, whether it be through literature, food or fashion. Growing up in a Salvadorian household, Abby had the opportunity to explore two different cultures and has found identity in both becoming fluent in both Spanish and English. Over the years, Abby has gained an interest in travel and literature – both in the American and Latin American sphere. As a former hair stylist, Abby also developed a passion for trends in the hair and make-up industry.
As a native of Virginia and a frequent visitor of the nation’s capital, Abby enjoys the fashion forward ambiance of Georgetown, D.C, discovering local restaurants, DC Night life and nature walks in national parks.
At the young age of 14, Abby felt that in order to discover her passion, she needed to focus on a short-term goal: being admitted to college. It was then that she knew that in order to attend college, she needed to strategize ways to afford it. This included maintaining part-time jobs throughout her academic career. She began her college academic career at Northern Virginia Community College where she discovered her academically inclined passion: the arts through the power of word. The milestone completion of her Associates Degree in Liberal Arts encouraged her to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in English at Marymount University. During her academic career she has participated in a global classroom series, and has also been recognized for exceptional merit by award of academic achievements.
As she looks back in her early years, she recognizes that creative writing always played a role into where she is today, as she recalls having been published in a poetry book and while an elementary school student,
“I was afraid of seeking a future in arts, especially the art of language. I had a preconceived notion that I could only get so far through writing. However, seeing that we are so technologically advanced now with the development of numerous blogs and online magazines, I know that creative writing has security in its future. By communicating whether it be by word of mouth or word in print, we are able to change the world! And I, believe in the power of word.”
Abby expects to receive her Bachelor of Arts degree in English this Fall, while continuing to ignite her creativity in blog writing and expanding her career in human resource management.
Aside from reading and writing, Abby spends her free time imagining to be the next cake boss, baking custom cakes for family and friends. She also enjoys participating in group exercises, road trips, and constructing all sorts of DIY projects (inspired by Pinterest, of course).
Guilty pleasure: Dulce de Leche Cheesecake
Love Watching: Gossip Girl/How I Met Your Mother/Friends/The Big Bang Theory/Chopped
Love reading: Memoirs, LatinaStyle and Cosmopolitan
Words to live by: Always risk the possibility of failure
Born in the suburbs of Washington DC, Gabrielle Boateng, known as Gaby, is an American, multi-lingual individual. Her passion for fashion, entertainment and writing has propelled her into the writer she is today.
At the age of 13, Gaby’s parents sent her to boarding school in Switzerland and France where she learned French and gained an understanding of Spanish. Being able to be open-minded and free spirited was very important to her, thus her parents thought it would be beneficial to her mind and spirit. While many people never understood why her parents sent her away, Gaby has always had a great appreciation for having the opportunity to go to a new country and explore different cultures. After coming back to the states, Gaby attended Northern Virginia Community College where she figured out her path: writing. As she progressed in school, she began writing short stories and plays to keep her writing abilities flowing. After graduating from NVCC with an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts, she transferred to Shenandoah University.
Her time at Shenandoah was short-lived as she felt out of place.She never felt as if she could succeed there. After a semester, she decided to transfer to Marymount University where she is now currently happier and graduating in the fall. In retrospect to all of her schooling, she has come to appreciate what her parents did for her at such a young age. After realizing that not everyone has the opportunity to travel to another country at such a young age, she became more humble and understanding of the people around her.
As Gaby will be graduating with a degree of English from Marymount University, she is planning to teach English abroad with the hopes of helping other students understand how English and Writing are both very important aspects of life.
While Gaby reads novels and magazines on a daily basis, she also enjoys spending time with her family, singing and dancing. She loves to travel and try new things.
Guilty Pleasure: Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Love Watching: Gossip Girl/Revenge/ Orange is The New Black/The Killing
Love Reading: Cosmopolitan Magazine/ Romance Novels
Words to live by: This too shall pass
Vlad Gradinariu was born in a small town in Romania. Surprisingly, he originates from the same region as Stefania. Vlad currently resides in the suburbs of Washington D.C., where he attends the Honors College at George Mason University and works a part-time job on top of other activities he partakes in. As a student, Vlad has always been motivated to excel and achieve goals that he sets for himself. He believes that through hard work and persistence, anyone can succeed. Although he is currently an Undeclared major at the university, he mentions that “something great awaits him in the future”, even though he has not quite figured out what it is yet.
As a result of his belief that “experiences that we engage in are far more important than the material wealth that we acquire”, Vlad views travel as an important element in one’s life. As a native European, Vlad frequently flew from Romania and the United States during summer travels. This has sparked a passionate interest to travel and see the world, as to experience other cultures and broaden the mind. In addition, to keep his travel memories close to his heart, he frequently took photographs of the places he visited. As a result, he became interested in photography. Today, Vlad continues to pursue the same interests that fascinated him years ago. He mentions that his favorite photo-editing platform is VSCOCAM, since it provides subtle nuances of analog film for the modern photographer.