La Respuesta 05: Frances Nieves Serret

Frances Nieves Serret, a Puerto Rican behavior analyst living in Boston, MA, on one of her many adventures.

Frances Nieves Serret, a Puerto Rican behavior analyst living in Boston, MA, on one of her many adventures.


La Respuesta is Navegando's version of the Proust Questionnaire, where we take a deep dive into exploring our similarities, our differences, and the stories that make us human. 

My name is Frances Nieves and I’m a behavior analyst teaching children and young adults with autism. I am also a mentor for graduate students getting their Master's in behavior analysis. I’ve been living in Boston for the past 6 years, but I’m originally from Puerto Rico.

(Quick note from Nicole: Frances is currently fundraising for the Global Autism Project -- she'll be joining them next year in Kenya, providing training to local educators who work with children with autism. All funds will go directly to the Global Autism Project and their work changing the lives of children around the world. Learn more and donate here.)

Name: Frances Nieves Serret
Current age: 29
Current location: Boston, MA

What defines you?  My caring for others. My love of new experiences. My need to be active. 

What keeps you up at night? It depends. It could be the excitement about my next trip, new activity I’m trying out the next weekend, or the a class I’m signing up for. Other times, it’s my clients—their successes and/or struggles, and how I can help. How can I become the best version of myself. How the world in “The Handmaid’s Tale” seems more and more possible these days.

What do you want the most? Health. I’ve had a few injuries in the past couple of years and have family and friends currently struggling with health issues. I’ve seen and experienced how debilitating it can be. It not only affects your body but mental state.

How do you handle loneliness? I rarely feel lonely. I love being around other people, but I also feel comfortable and enjoy doing things by myself. I think being comfortable and happy with who you are is the best way to handle loneliness.  I also plan trips, sign up for classes and activities, and create meaningful relationships.

How do you feel purposeful? I feel purposeful when I’m working with individuals with autism. They are the coolest people I know and it’s really amazing to see their progress and the impact it has in their quality of life. I learn from them as much as they learn from me. I also look for volunteering opportunities, classes, and I push myself to do things out of my comfort zone so I can learn and grow as a person.

What do you do, when there is no one else around? I’ve been trying to learn how to dance salsa (I know--I’m Puerto Rican so I should know how to dance salsa) so I’ll put on some salsa music and dance.

What character in fame or fiction would you most like to be? I’m currently obsessed with ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.” It’s filled with really bad ass, strong women. I would one of those women—Moira, June, Emily.

What thing can you not live without? My passport.

What medium of art most moves you, and what makes your heart sing? Books. A good book can make me laugh or cry or transport me to a different world.


Are you interested in telling your stories? Fill out the form here and we'll be add you to the list for future La Respuesta posts.