Juliana Sarmiento: 5’1″of Creativity and Leadership


Juliana Sarmiento meets with NHS students and TCS admissions director Veronica Restrepo.

Samuel Escobar, Discoverer Staff Writer

For over 5 years she has brightened every room she enters with her pitch-black hair, big brown eyes, and warm smile. She is famous on campus for her unique and creative outfits, a distinctive purse that she carries everywhere, and big glasses (which she changes every day depending on her mood and outfit).

This is Juliana Sarmiento’s first year as the Coordinadora de Convivencia and her sixth year in TCS, though she was the 4th and 5th-grade counselor during her first five years. Sarmiento is now part of the Comité de Convivencia, Character Counts, DEIJ, Red PaPaz, NHS, and social-emotional learning, which allows her to be involved in all the school, from K4 to 12 grade. Throughout her day she has meetings with people of all kinds, from students to the superintendent herself, Ms. Ruth Allen, and when she is not in a meeting she works to shape talk into action.

Sarmiento is barely 5’1 and may seem diminutive to some, but her impact on school is huge. In a typical week, she might meet with DEIJ and NHS high school students, superintendent Ms. Ruth, teachers from all over the school, curriculum coaches, Sports and Extracurriculars Director Freddie Badillo, EY, ES, MS, and HS principals and counselors, and many others. Some involve developing plans and projects for the countless groups and clubs she is part of.

“For me, Juli is more than just the NHS Advisor, she has become someone who I can talk with about anything, she is someone that will always support you, guide you, and has left me a lot of knowledge,” Juliana Mira, Grade 12, said. “Juli has a thousand tasks. Aside from being the NHS Advisor which is her closest job to me, she is a psychologist and is in charge of many workshops and events in school.”


How do you prepare for your day?

“Even though I consider myself more of a spiritual person rather than a religious one, when I leave my house, before driving, I pray, and that’s something that I always include in my routine every day because I feel like it generates me a lot of peace.”

What motivates you every day?

“I feel that life is cool. Yeah, there are bad moments, but right now I try to live in the present. Right now I’m here working in TCS doing this, but I never know what life will bring me in 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 years. Not knowing (the future) excites me.”

Who inspires you?

“My grandfather on my dad’s side, Anibal, who’s now 80. He only studied up to 2nd or 3rd grade and when he was young living in a town near Bucaramanga he built everything he has now through his job. Beyond that, if you talk with him you’ll notice that he doesn’t have a toxic positivity, he says that you must work for what you want, nothing is too difficult. I like that about him because how we say here, ‘I think that he’s very berraco.’”

What do you like most about your job?

“The thing that I like most about my job is that it isn’t monotonous. Every day is different, especially in my role where my days vary in the sense that I have to sit and talk with different people, from HS students to Early Years teachers, to leaders, to parents… So I feel like that takes me out of my comfort zone, it isn’t monotonous.”

If you could magically send a message to the entire world, what would it be?

“‘You can do anything, but not everything.’ And that quote, after and during the pandemic, echoed in me because many times we are very hastened, we want to do everything at once, and it turns out that life doesn’t work like that. One can do anything, but I say it again, not with everything at the same time. Step by step, prioritizing things, and above all taking care of yourself. One cannot give what one does not have, that’s why I try to look after myself.”

What’s something you can’t leave your house without?

“Well obviously something that I can’t leave without is my insulin pump, but aside from that, if I leave my house without eyeliner I won’t feel the same, and I don’t really know why. I know it might sound dumb, but I put eyeliner on to go to work, to the gym, to eat out, to see my friends… everywhere, and I don’t feel the same if I don’t.”