Living and Past Legends
PROVO, Utah – Apr 28, 2022 – Growing up, Jared Cuessy was surrounded by the stories of his ancestors. The story of how his grandfather sacrificed to leave Mexico and bring his family to the United States is particularly dear to him. As Cuessy ponders the many people who came before him who made all that he has today possible, he feels a responsibility to honor his ancestors.
Cuessy, who is from Whittier, California, plans to work in economic policy after he graduates in 2023 from the MPA program at the BYU Marriott School of Business. Earning his MPA is just one way Cuessy hopes to honor his ancestry and give back. Cuessy plans to use the skills he is learning to work with others to examine current economic policies, identify what is outdated, and find ways to create more benefits for everyone.
Another way Cuessy has honored his ancestors was through participating in Living Legends, a performing arts group at BYU that celebrates cultural heritage through music and dance. Cuessy was a member of the group for four years while earning his undergraduate in economics at BYU. “My favorite dance to perform was to the song, ‘El Son de la Negra,’ which is referred to as Mexico’s second national anthem,” he explains. “Not only did I have fun, but performances also held special meaning for me because the song is from my own culture. Performing helped me connect to my ancestral heritage.”
Before graduating in 2020, Cuessy knew he wanted to pursue a master’s degree so he could be in a better position to affect change. After looking at many programs, Cuessy met with an advisor for BYU Marriott’s MPA program, who helped him realize how worthwhile the program could be for him. “I enjoyed my undergraduate experience at BYU so I knew I could have a similar or even better experience in the MPA program,” says Cuessy.
In the MPA program, Cuessy is focusing on state and federal government. “I’m in my first year, which is described as ‘drinking water from a fire hydrant’ because you receive a lot of information at once,” he says. “But I love learning new concepts and being able to see a whole new world of perspective and possibility.
“My ancestors worked hard to improve the life of others, including mine, so that is why I am earning my MPA,” Cuessy continues. “I know making the world a better place sounds like a cliché, but I honestly believe that by helping change policy for others, progress can be accomplished.”
Cuessy’s passion for economic equality is also influenced by his experience as a type 1 diabetic. After being diagnosed at the age of 15, he has struggled to afford medicine and diabetic supplies. Facing the financial hardships that accompany the life of a diabetic has made Cuessy passionate about working to change the system. “My entire life revolves around my diabetes,” he explains. “I want to find ways to make changes so that people in the future do not have to endure the same financial difficulties.”
Cuessy looks forward to making a difference and discovering more ways to honor his ancestors. “I hope to make my ancestors and family proud by improving the global community,” he says. “I know I can do this by finding better ways to construct policies that are more responsive, efficient, and equitable.”
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Bethany Benham