Posted by Alexandra Castano ’13, Catholic Studies and History
I have been a Latino Leader for the past two and half years. This time has been transformative and eye-opening. I came to know about the Latino Leadership program because a couple of friends of mine from Miami, FL were also Latino Leaders. They encouraged me to go through the process of applying, and so I did and miraculously, here I am.
Being a part of this program has actually been a huge blessing for me, particularly since I moved from Miami (a city saturated in Latin culture, especially awesome Latin food) to St. Paul, MN (which I wouldn’t necessarily identify by its Latin characteristics). I have also grown to appreciate the service that we do with a local predominantly Latin parish, St. Stephen’s in South Minneapolis. The other Latino Leaders and I have become fond of the youth that we teach Catechesis to. They are hysterical, and they remind us of where we come from and what were like in high school. I have come to realize that we have become role models for these kids. We have the responsibility to show them that we are all sons and daughters of God, and that they have the same opportunities for a good education as we did. We have a great team of Leaders and I think that they would agree with me when I say that they learned just as much from these kids as they have from us.
Overall, Latino Leaders has not only been an opportunity to learn about, serve, and love our culture within the Church, but it has been a great opportunity for growth through community and serving others that if I were to stay in Miami, I know I would not have had these same experiences.