Getting Connected with Laker Familia

Written by Andreas Fields
Posted on October 15, 2021

Laker Familia is a program dedicated to providing a community for Hispanic and Latino/a/e students while putting on different events, programs, and activities at Grand Valley. Through Laker Familia, students are able to learn more about their own and each other's cultures. With National Hispanic Heritage Month running from September 15 to October 15, what better way to close it out than by spotlighting Laker Familia?

Laker Familia web banner

Laker Familia is one of five Laker Connections programs at Grand Valley, each designed to unite students under shared identities.  Laker Familia makes it their mission to connect Latino/a/e students by providing them with resources, support, and networking initiatives designed to give them a greater sense of belonging at Grand Valley.

“Laker Familia is here to assist its students,” says Thalia Guerra-Flores, an assistant director in the Office of Multicultural Affairs and program lead for Laker Familia. 

Thalia describes Laker Familia as “a unique opportunity to make new friends, meet faculty and staff mentors, and learn about campus resources.” The organization hosts Hispanic Heritage Celebration events, such as the upcoming Día de los Muertos celebration on November 4, throughout the entire semester, giving students opportunities to gather as a community.

Laker Familia Orientation group photo

Jocelyn Medina, a junior and an active member of Laker Familia since 2020, feels that “Laker Familia literally is like family!” Students are able to gain a greater sense of not only their own cultures but the cultures of Latines with different backgrounds and experiences.


“It's an organization that not only helps me (along with my peers) out academically but also is a really great support system in this environment as a student of color in a PWI [predominantly white institution],” Jocelyn says.

Laker Familia Orientation performance

For first-year student Claudia Jimenez, Laker Familia “is a place where I feel included in a campus full of people that don’t look like me or have the same beliefs as me.” With participating students engaging in professional development activities and having a higher GPA and retention rate than their non-participating peers, Laker Familia proves that its impact extends to all areas of campus life.


“Every person who is a part of Laker Familia can confirm that they benefited from the program one way or another,” says Jocelyn, underscoring the importance of Laker Familia and its sister organizations in Laker Connections.

Laker Familia at the Laker Familia Orientation photo booth

If you are interested in learning more about the multicultural events and organizations on campus, consider attending an upcoming event hosted by the Office of Multicultural Affairs or connecting with a student organization.

Office of Multicultural Affairs Events Calendar

Cultural Student Organizations

Page last modified October 15, 2021