Student organizations like Laker
Familia, a program specifically designed to introduce students to
resources that will support their academic, cultural, and emotional
well-being, offer spaces for Latinx students to connect with other
students who have shared heritage and experiences.
That's important because not only do students move away from their
families when they go to college, but also they also are immersed into
a different culture. Medina, Alonso-Chavez and Vela all spoke about
how GVSU’s Hispanic Heritage Celebration gives
Latinx students the opportunity to bring their culture to GVSU.
“Laker Familia helped me from the get-go,” Alonso-Chavez explained of
her first-year experience. “They helped me with my culture shock, my
anxiety and depression.”
Students expressed the importance of family in Hispanic culture. Due
to this, moving away to go to college can bring about a unique set of
challenges for Latinx students.
“It was a huge change to this new lifestyle,” Alonso-Chavez explained
of her transition.
Said Vela: “Especially being away from Mexican food and celebrations
and having that connection as a family. Hispanic heritage month means
connection and finding my family here."
Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates and recognizes the achievements
and contributions of Latinx people who have inspired others to achieve
success (National Hispanic Heritage Month). A large
inspiration to many is family. Hear students discuss their families
and the positive impact they have had on their futures below.