Seanna S. is a talented junior here at Carondelet. Involved in various activities and clubs like the Lindsay Wildlife Museum as an Outstanding Wildlife Leader, Mock Trial, First Gen Club, and trap team Seanna’s heritage seems like only a piece of her life. But through Latinas Unidas, Seanna can find the space to connect with her heritage.
“Latinas Unidas is a fun club that allows us to meet new friends and learn from each other’s cultures and experiences. This club is a safe place to have lunch with friends, share familiar food, and spend time together here at Carondelet.
Seanna’s family is unique, mixed with Peruvian and Salvadorian cultures along with Irish and Scottish. But being mixed comes with its own set of challenges.
“Having a lighter skin complexion compared to other Latinas became a challenge for me in middle school and partly in high school as well. I am not easily identified by others as being Latina at first. When I tell people that I am Latina, they don’t believe me. It’s always slightly annoying because it seems as though I always have to “prove” that I am Hispanic. This has definitely encouraged me to embrace my heritage more than the average person. I love learning about my family and hearing their stories. I hold them close to my heart and I can’t wait to spend more time learning from them. My heritage is always something I love talking about and I hope all Latinas are proud of who they are as well.”
Carondelet’s diverse community has been a safe space for comfort and belonging for Seanna. It serves as a reminder of the varied backgrounds that surround us.
“[Being a part of Carondelet’s community] makes me feel at home. When I go to Peru every year, there are a bunch of different races that surround me. This has always made me feel welcome because even though I don’t look like everyone else, I’m not the only one. This has contributed to my understanding of Hispanic Heritage Month as well as other heritage celebrations. It is a reminder to myself that just because someone looks a certain way, we can’t always be certain of their heritage until you ask them. Always try to keep opinions and assumptions unbiased because you never truly know.”
Among the teachers who have positively impacted Seanna, Karina Thor stands out. Through her authenticity and creative teaching style, Karina Thor has helped Seanna appreciate her heritage even more.
“Ms. Thor has definitely positively impacted my understanding and appreciation of Hispanic Heritage Month simply by being her true self all the time, no matter what. Ms. Thor has given us multiple opportunities to practice our Spanish listening skills by having us listen to Latin songs as a part of her creative teaching style. Her bubbly, funny, and quirky personality is much appreciated throughout our Carondelet community.”
The Latinas Unidas club welcomes all with open arms. “It gives us the opportunity to learn and talk about everyone’s backgrounds and traditions, and a good laugh is always shared. Learning about yourself and your heritage goes hand and hand and it’s a crucial step in learning about who you really are, as a person. Always remember that you are never alone. Sisterhood and support is always available at Carondelet and Latinas Unidas.”