Reflection by Daryanna C., Latin@s Unid@s President
Arriving at Carondelet my freshman year I felt significantly displaced. I grew up in schools where the vast majority of students were from Latinx backgrounds where white would be considered a minority. The change of background was hard for me. Being the only student from my middle school to come here I knew nobody. Finding a group to fit in with was difficult. I felt ashamed of the way that I wasn’t able to fit in with others. I had almost no acknowledgment of any other Latin background students. However, I learned that I was wrong and there were many other students with the same background. All you need to do is look around and branch out!
Throughout my 4 years of being here at Carondelet, I realized I was on a journey of finding who I was. The person that came here is not the same one leaving. I learned to open my heart and mind to others around me. Earlier this year Carondelet allowed me to go learn about immigration on the Ven a Ver Borderlands immersion. This immersion helped me learn about other people’s struggles as they cross the border for a better life. This trip completely opened my eyes to the true reality of what people have to go through from walking in a hot desert to sleeping in the cold to even losing their lives. It will forever stick with me and is a reason why I think it’s important to speak out about immigration issues, in some sort of way they connect to us personally on different levels. This made me feel more connected to my roots as a Latina learning from a closer point of view of what my parents went through. Through this, I have found my true passion for social justice in politics.
I am the first-generation daughter of two of the hardest working people I know. My parents immigrated to the United States over 20 years ago hoping to start a better life for themselves and their children. As their oldest daughter, I have always been the one they counted on for help. From being their personal translator to reading and filing out legal documents for them, to even just ordering their food. This is a universal feeling most first-generation children can relate to; it makes me feel close to my heritage. What they have today didn’t magically appear overnight, they’ve worked hard for it. Their sacrifices don’t go unseen, I’ve always witnessed it being by their sides. Knowing that many others from the same background go through this makes me feel connected to my roots. I will always acknowledge the hard work and sacrifices that my parents have made for me, without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. Being the daughter of hard-working Latinos makes me proud.
As I plan to further my education by majoring in Political Science in college, I will bring my experiences of helping others with me. Carondelet has empowered me to be a woman of hope, faith, courage, and excellence;I plan on leaving here with those values. Embracing my Hispanic side has given me a strong connection to social justice. The thought of being a Latina in the political world empowers me to be proud of who I am and where my roots come from.
More information on Latin@s Unid@s
Laila F. described the group as “a very inclusive club at Carondelet that gives the Hispanic and Latinas at Carondelet a voice to speak out about their heritage”. The club’s goal is to “bring security and kindness to the community; and through the community [Laila] hopes it makes ladies of Latino descent feel more connected to their heritage and to others that share the same”.
To keep up and learn more about what Latin@s Unid@s is doing during Hispanic Heritage month and throughout the year follow their Instagram!