Taina Aguila, 24
Sixth Ave between 20th and 21st Sts.
Mon Jul 12 2010
Photograph: Allison Michael Orenstein
What do you do? I'm in school for architecture at the New York Institute of Technology. I finished my associate's, and I've moved on to the bachelor's program. I'm aiming to get my Ph.D.
So you can teach? Well, what I want is to get rich enough to build houses and hospitals in poor countries.
Why not just join Habitat for Humanity and do that now? Because being an architect will give me the respect I need in order to accomplish certain things. If I have enough money, I don't need permission; I can just go and do it myself. That's why I play the lottery every week. That would be a shortcut.
Got any lotto strategies? I'm always really, really close. My mom has won because of me, and my aunt too. I gave them the numbers. They didn't win a lot—$100, $300...
Would you still need the Ph.D. if you were rich? I'd still get it. That's something I've always wanted since I was a kid.
Some kids want cool cars or toys, and you wanted a Ph.D. Yup. My mother implanted the idea in my head. And anyway, my husband already got me a BMW, so I don't need one anymore. I gave him a daughter, and he gave me a car. [Laughs]
Who worked harder? That's a tough question.
More from Taina
"I wear these glasses every day. My husband gave them to me for my birthday. I don't really pay attention to what I'm wearing. For me, the shoes and the glasses make the outfit."
"I love dogs. I had a husky but this crazy pit bull in my building almost killed him. So we got a weeny-teeny Chihuahua who's, like, two pounds. The pit bull doesn't even know she's there."
"I just opened a Facebook account to search for a friend who I haven't seen for, like, eight years. I'm on my way to meet up with her now. I'm super hyper about it. We lost contact when I was 13, and I was spazzing out for eight years trying to find her. I don't do Facebook otherwise, because I don't like people finding me. I'm a bit of a loner."