New Latinx Alumni Community Connects Students and Alumni
As an on-campus financial aid counselor and advisor to Movimiento Estudiantil Xicano de Aztlan (MEXA), a group of Cal Poly students who promote higher education among Latinx and Chicanx identifying students, Delfina Medina (Social Sciences, ’04) is well versed in offering support and mentorship to students. Now, she's inviting alumni to get involved.
“This is the next step in supporting our Chicanx Latinx students — the alumni step,” she said.
Medina is one of the volunteer leaders of the new Cal Poly Alumni — Latinx Community, an identity-based affinity group connecting alumni to each other and the university — including current students. One of several goals of this new community, she said, is to harness the collective wisdom and resources of Latinx alumni to help guide and support the next generation of Cal Poly graduates.
“A lot of successful alumni, looking back, had that one person who had their back, whether it was a professor or advisor or mentor,” Medina said. “If you had that one person who had an effect on your life as a student, please consider becoming involved with this community and being that person for someone else.”
As an advisor to MEXA, Medina interacts with students daily. For alum Martin Ortega, (Architecture, ’95) the need to support Latinx students became apparent when his son began attending Cal Poly as a physics major.
“His experience as a new student really made me think about what I was missing when I was a student,” Ortega said. “I want to show students that there are a lot of us Latinos who came to Cal Poly and went on to be successful, and that we’re here now to help future generations.”
“Cal Poly is a great school,” Ortega added. “If we can build a community for Latinx alumni to be there to support each other and students, then we can make a great education and experience even better.”
"We're proud to organize and support a new identity-based affinity group and are excited to see what the future brings for the Cal Poly Alumni — Latinx Community and for future identity-based affinity groups," added Kelly Owens-Dávalos, Director of Alumni Programs and Engagement in the office of Alumni Engagement.
In the next year, the plans of the Cal Poly Alumni — Latinx Community include hosting alumni networking and social events and increasing visibility and support for current Mustangs through events and activities such as the Chicano/Latino Commencement Ceremony and the grand opening of the new on-campus Latinx Center, happening Nov. 10.
To receive more information about the Cal Poly Alumni — Latinx Community, complete the Interest Form to be added to the group’s mailing list.
Photo: Martin Ortega and his younger son Theo at Cal Poly Homecoming