The Abriendo Caminos team recognizes the importance of students’ voices, ideas, perspectives, and insights on activities, policies, practices, and proposals leading to equitable practices that are student-centered.
The Abriendo Caminos Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) grant was launched in October 2019. At the start of the grant, leaders of the grant advocated for student involvement in the planning and implementation process so that their voices, ideas, and experiences could be included. Rather than a temporary student advisory board that would launch the goals of the grant, the leaders of the HSI grant advocated for student leaders to be part of the official HSI grant team. This development came to actualization through the leadership of PCC alumni, student advocate, and faculty counselor, Desiree Zuniga. Through her leadership and advocacy, we have had three cohorts of student leaders since 2020, paid by the grant each year. Since 2020, each Equipo (squad) has helped the institution, a proud HSI, center on the needs of our Latinx/a/o students and other marginalized student populations.
Today, the Student Advisory Equipo is committed to approaching practices in a way that “presumes [Latine and historically marginalized students] are competent and worthy, and that thinks [their/or] language and culture are beautiful assets to be enhanced, not subtracted” (Garcia, 2019, p.90). In addition, we recognize the importance of building a campus community that embraces our students’ voices and stories and provides a seat at the table for students to share their cultural knowledge and experience.
Shared Governance & Latinx Leadership
The Student Advisory Equipo serves as experts, consultants, and student leaders to support various initiatives, projects, and academic and student support services throughout the campus. Equipo members are student leaders trained to offer outreach services and financial aid support to prospective students and participate in campus-wide employment hiring committees.
Meet the Equipo
In Equipo, I want to continue the work that has been already started. Help uplift the voices of not just the Hispanic community but everyone who is involved around it.
Major: Anthropology Minor: sociology
I hope to acquire a deeper cultural understanding and responsibility to my Latine community, learning about other Latine cultures and traditions has allowed me to further grow my passion and understanding para la raza.
While being with EQUIPO, I hope to make other students feel comfortable and welcomed at PCC. I hope to create and work on activities, workshops, and other innovating spaces that will help our campus reach a more equitable degree. Take space and make space.
What I hope to accomplish this year is to educate students on the power they bring to the table and that every experience is unique to their own journeys that they have taken thus far. Also, to present to other institutions on the knowledge we have accumulated over time and our findings on what the outcome has been.
I would like to help new or returning students to be able to achieve their goals in college by providing them with resources and assistance for whatever they may need. Whether they are first-generation students or parents, I would like to be a part of a team that can help students achieve their goals and help them along the way.
During my time in Equipo, I hope to be more involved with my peers at PCC by providing students educational, as well as personal, resources and information through workshops and events where they can feel included. I'm proud of being Queer and Mexican. I believe that understanding and advocating for intersectionality is essential for a sense of unity since we might share similar struggles, identities, traditions, stories, ideas, or even be completely different. The diversity in the voices speaking up should be heard, so we can learn and form connections simultaneously. Lifting each other up enhances our experiences, I hope I can serve as a voice for, not only Latine students, but everyone too.
Computer Information Systems
I want to become a better leader in my community but also help educate others on who I am and what we bring to the table.
Mexican - American
I hope I can involve more students to be more involved in their school, I hope they pursue their education and make sure they can navigate around their resources and through their education. Overall, I want students to succeed and encourage more Hispanic students to pursue a career in the STEM field.
Mexican - American Business Administration
I hope to create a welcoming experience and safe place for students throughout the year. Whether it be through sharing resources or interacting with activities, I would like for PCC students to feel inspired.
Mexican American Nursing
In EQUIPO, I want to help Latine students find a sense of belonging. It’s really important that when we focus on sense of belonging or representation, we view it in an intersectionality manner. As Latine, it’s important to recognize that we are extremely diverse. Unfortunately, because of racism and ignorance, we tend to focus on certain type of Latine, rather than others. In our culture we see aspects of colorism, homophobia, and sexism, and although we ourselves do consider these aspects as harmful, there are some things that we internalize. My hope for EQUIPO, is to be able to talk about the faults in our culture and be able to help dismantle these aspects that we have internalized.