“It’s your road and yours alone, others may walk it with you, but they cannot walk it for you” ~Anonymous
As a first-generation Latina student, I was fortunate to participate in experiential programs as an undergraduate. It was no surprise that 10 years ago I became a student employee for the SA programs that served me in an effort to give back. My culture and background played a significant role in my passion to give back to students who came from a similar background. My jornado,or journey, through this profession was by circumstance of having positive mentorship and benefiting from community-oriented programs that focused on helping me reach my goals.
After three days of participating in the 2016 NASPA Escaleras Institute, I gained a new ‘familia’ to join me on this jornado in SA to one day be a Vice-President. #TeamXinachtli is our name — this is a Nahuatl word that translates to the ‘moment a seed germinates.’ This word represents the key to being successful in our profession. It is the opportune time that a seed changes into infinite possibilities. It is a moment of true change. This experience has reminded me about the important lessons to continue mi camino or road in SA:
–Lift as you climb
–Cultural taxation is very likely – prepare for it
–Your community is important
We are here not only to help students grow and prosper. We are also here to support one another as we grow and prosper into future leaders of our profession. It is important to not forget that in order to impact student success, through building a community and network of fellow colleagues… we are nurturing seeds to grow and eventually Xinachtli will come to fruition.
The layers of soil have provided growth and prosperity for many generations before us. We have to give thanks for what Mother Nature continues to provide. I invest my knowledge, skills and resources in student success through assessment and research because I come from a family in which I am the first to get a college degree. I would not be the leader I am today without many Student Affairs programs. Positive institutional change and student success comes from building community. Nurturing Xinachtli amongst your colleagues is critical. Even more so, never forget your jornado y camino to this profession.
> BONUS <
Podcast With Kyle James on Student Leadership Careers