Getting this degree is not just for me — it is also for my family and my people. I am using it in the best way that I can, to make sure that we work toward social justice for Latinx and marginalized communities overall.
"I came in to Bucknell thinking I was going to be a math major. I started taking Spanish courses every semester to keep speaking Spanish, my first language. I became engaged through these courses and wanted to keep learning about my cultural background and traditions. At Bucknell, I have found out so much more about myself and about my identity. Now I proudly claim my identity as a Xicana, which means Mexican American with an associated political meaning of decolonization. I'm majoring in Latin American studies and education, and one of my long-term goals is to become a professor of Latin American or Chicano studies. I have been involved in tutoring since the third grade and I know I belong in the education field, serving marginalized communities.
"L.A. has a very different vibe — for me, it is a completely different world here. When I arrived at Bucknell, we didn't have a Latinx club, but toward the end of my first year, LACOS (Latinx Alliance for Community & Opportunity for Students) was created. I became president the spring semester of my first year and am on my third term as president. LACOS has definitely shaped me and pushed me to become the person I am today. Creating a Latinx community is extremely important for our Latinx students on campus. LACOS has enhanced my Bucknell experience and has helped me realize the importance of being a mentor for others. I have embarked on a journey of self-discovery with respect to my identity, and Bucknell has played a role in helping me become unapologetic about who I am.
"Dr. Carmen Henne-Ochoa, Bucknell's diversity & inclusion fellow, is someone I definitely look up to — not only because I relate to her culturally, but also because I can see myself doing the kind of work that she does on campus. There is a term in Spanish called ganas, which essentially means having the willpower. The Mexican proverb is "échale ganas," which is difficult to translate directly but means "give it your all," something my parents have told me since I was young. Having someone on campus such as Dr. Henne-Ochoa who really understands the meaning of this proverb has been extremely impactful.
"I always keep social justice in mind at Bucknell. Getting this degree is not just for me — it is also for my family and my people. I am using it in the best way that I can, to make sure that we work toward social justice for Latinx and marginalized communities overall. In many ways, being at Bucknell has shaped who I am today. I thank the professors, mentors and friends who have helped me flourish and grow as an individual. I cannot imagine having the last four years any other way"
Jacqueline is from Los Angeles.
Posted November 2017
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