First-year students in the Higher Education Opportunity Program at MMC—Jerandy Beato, Kayleen Cabrera and Diana Camilo—traveled to Chicago, Illinois, for the 2019 Spring National Convention on student leadership and diversity.
The National Student Leadership Diversity Convention (NSLDC) is the largest national gathering of student leaders and advisors to address the most critical topics of diversity and social justice challenging campuses today. Our students had the opportunity to attend experiential workshops, round table discussions, and keynote sessions, all while interacting with hundreds of other peers from around the country.
“The convention was an experience that I would not replace for anything,” says Kayleen Cabrera, a first-year Psychology major at MMC. “I made many connections, learned more about myself and my surroundings while having fun in the process.” For Kayleen, the convention’s various workshops were most memorable, including sessions on time management and prioritization, the importance one’s voice has through activism, and communication tips for assertive leadership.
For Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology major Jerandy Beato, the convention had a profound impact. After attending different workshops on colorism within the Black & Latinx community, “I was able to become aware of the impact that colorism has on our community and how other individuals experience racism within their homes,” Jerandy explains. “This convention has personally changed the way I view myself as Latin women. For the first time, I felt independent and confident because I am beautiful and enough.”
Diana Camilo, also a first-year in the SPCA program, shared a similar sentiment. “I got a better understanding of how skin color bias permeates our culture and how colorism can be most pronounced among individuals of color who have oppression of solidarity,” she shares. “Through this convention, I was able to enhance my skill to communicate with those within other communities, such as the LGBTQA+ community. I was also provided with many skills that will help me grow as an individual Latina and gain the knowledge that I am enough; I am an intellectual individual walking in such a bias and judgmental society.”
Check out the conference schedule here!