Lucero Segundo '15
This time last year, I had no idea what I was going to be doing post-graduation. I was with my family in California when I received a call from the secretary of Evanston Township’s principal inviting me for an interview. I booked a flight back to Chicago, moved into my new apartment and became the Equity Fellow at Evanston Township High School. What I have gained through LLSP has definitely been put to use in my year working at the high school. I am truly thankful to the Latina and Latino Studies Program at Northwestern for helping me find myself and grow.
Throughout the school year at ETHS, the knowledge I gained from LLSP and ethnic studies at NU has helped me greatly. As the Equity Fellow I was able to bring some fellow Mechistas from NU for ETHS’s first Semana de la Mujer and Carlos Ballinas and Frances Aparicio also came to ETHS as career panelists for the ETHS Latinx Summit. Starting my fellowship, I kept thinking about Sara Ahmed’s On Being Included and how inequality will reproduce itself, not in spite of my position, but because of it. How do you help make the schooling experiences of historically marginalized students better when the foundation of the school is inherently colonial? I figured that my relationship with students and the space I provide them in my office could be the only radical things about my time there. I figured I could provide them the type of space, support and care that LLSP gave me. In one year I didn’t think I could get so close to so many people at ETHS. I’ve shared many laughs, tears and frustrations with folks at ETHS and it’s bittersweet leaving.
Now that my fellowship is over, I’m moving back to California and have decided to take the rest of 2016 off. I’m looking forward to staying with my family in Mexico for a few months and using my free time to get back into my paintings and help my mom with some home improvement projects.
Thank you to all the staff and faculty of LLSP for their support and pushing me to think deeper. I had the pleasure to serve as a work-study at the program for three years and I am honored that I am able to stay connected to the program through my graphic design. I’m happy that I stayed in Rogers Park for an extra year and was able to still pop by LLSP and keep learning. Stay in touch and hit me up if ya’ll are ever in California!
Sophia Park '14
Since graduation, I enrolled in an MPH/MBA program with a concentration in epidemiology and information technology at UIC. I am specifically interested in health care innovation, and how advances such as telemedicine and electronic medical records can improve healthcare delivery for medically marginalized communities. I will also be attending medical school next fall.
My experience at NU’s Latina/o Studies Program has been instrumental in framing my academic interests. My advisor, Dr. Aparicio, has been an enormous professional and personal resource to me over the years. I look forward to building upon my experiences and knowledge about Latino history and culture from NU to become a more culturally conscious physician in the future.
Samantha Terrazas '12
I am currently working in South Florida as Education Coordinator for the Farmworker Coordinating Council, an organization that offers social services to seasonal and migrant farmworkers. I work with student grades 1-5 and their parents to assist with educational needs. I was fortunate to be a part of the Latina/o Studies program while at Northwestern and the courses and professors were an essential part of my undergraduate experience. My Latina/o Studies degree has been beneficial in my current position, helping me work with my clients everyday. It is great to see all the courses and programming the department is offering and I am excited to see this continue on in the future!
Maria Salazar '11
Reflecting on LLSP, I’m thankful for those two indispensable tools, especially when it comes to my passion for social justice work. It was through those courses that I first began to articulate what I was feeling, to name the problems, and thus begin to understand their roots. As I started my first job after college, doing community organizing with a statewide immigrant rights nonprofit, I again felt grateful for LLSP; in particular, for the encouragement to explore comparative analysis, to actively seek out multiple perspectives. Asian American Studies courses, for example, helped me understand the similarities and nuances of communities beyond those I was familiar with. This was critical, especially if I was to develop meaningful relationships with immigrants, refugees, and allies that I had never met before.
Perspective from LLSP faculty also came in handy when it came to doing some deep, painful self-reflection. While on campus it was easy to be reactionary, tackle multiple causes, neglect other priorities, feel angry or question whether I was doing enough to “change the world.” Change takes time and courage- it also requires us take care of ourselves, our health, our loved ones. Currently, I have a job that allows me to put those lessons into practice. Working at Oakton Community College’s Enrollment Center, I get to work with undocumented students, traditional-age students, adult learners, etc. My favorite aspect is doing trainings for faculty and staff at the College on policies like DACA and strategies to support immigrant youth. I hope that in sharing lessons learned and seeking opportunities to continue growing, I can make a small contribution towards the kind of world LLSP helped me envision.
Arianna Hermosillo '10
These days I am writing for Imagination Publishing, a custom content and marketing agency in Chicago. My writing covers a variety of clients and industries including finance, insurance and health. I am also co-teaching basic journalism at Radio Arte, a community-based radio station in the Pilsen neighborhood. My students come from all over the Chicago land area and after this part of a year-long training course, they will go on to learn more about radio and broadcast in general. I've returned to my hometown of Summit and am also volunteering with a couple of high school organizations there.
Aldo Gallardo '09
I graduated in 2009 with a major in sociology and minor in Latina/o studies. For almost two years, I have been the Multicultural Resource Center Director at Northside Community Resources (formerly the Rogers Park Community Council), where I provide direct services and referrals to low-income, Spanish-speaking immigrants and refugees on the north side of Chicago. I primarily assist with issues of housing, immigration, public benefits, and legal rights and responsibilities. In January, I organized the North Side Immigrant College Forum at Sullivan High School that featured a panel discussion with speakers from immigrant organizations and educational nonprofits and a mini-college fair that focused on undocumented students. I am also on the executive board of the Latino Alumni of Northwestern University (LANU) and serve as its secretary. It has been a pleasure to stay connected to the university, meet engaging young Wildcats, and make new acquaintances from a variety of professional fields. In the future, I plan on pursuing a career in public interest and social justice law.