La Voz de Nuestros Lideres: Guadalupe Yanez, LULAC National Intern
By Guadalupe Yanez on 11/18/2011 @ 12:20 PM
“Nunca olvides quien eres y de dónde vienes…” Those were my grandmother’s last words as I left mi ranchito, my home in a small town located in the southern, remote part of Guanajuato in Mexico. At the age of 8, my family and I set out to the United States in search of that long-yearned “American Dream,” carrying with us our hopes and dreams of a better future as our only possessions.
It has now been approximately 12 years since I have lived in the United States, in the state of California, to be exact. With the passing of the years, I was able to discover my status according to society’s standards: a low-income female coming from a minority ethnic background with low expectations of succeeding in school as well as in life. Growing up in Salinas, a predominantly Hispanic and agricultural-based city, exposed me to the many struggles my community was vulnerable to, and I saw what I needed to overcome in order to succeed. It truly saddened me to see my community torn apart from constant gang violence, as well as a sense of loss of direction. It hurt me even more to realize the immense potential amongst my peers that was overshadowed by all the negativity and despair around us, and to see our optimism unfortunately get lost in the midst of it all. I knew I needed to do something and this is what led me to LULAC.
I first heard about LULAC when I was in the 7th grade, through my brothers’ high school event. It was not until the end of my high school years that I became a bit more familiarized with LULAC, as well as their mission, which truly interested me. Through my current school’s internship database, I found out that LULAC was offering internships, and I decided to apply immediately. One of the main reasons why I was attracted to this organization was the fact that it encompasses several different issues pertaining to the Latino population. In line with my own personal interests of helping out and making a difference in such a particular community, I simply knew LULAC was the ideal match for me. Not only am I truly enjoying my time here, but I am also learning a lot of new things as well. I have grown not only as a student but also as a person. Being in such positive and engaging environment amongst great people has enhanced not only my passion, but also my own will-power and potential to strive to be the very best that I can.
Currently, I am a third-year student attending Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California with a major in political science, a minor in ethnic studies and an emphasis in the public sector. With an intense passion for helping others, I would like to pursue a career that will enable me to work within my community, as well as outside of it. I am also interested in pursuing a career in law, for I want to advocate on behalf of my community, while also making sure their voices are not only heard but also taken into serious consideration.
There is no doubt that it takes much more to stand up for what you believe in than simply believing in something, and that in order to do so, you must be truly aware of who you are and where you come from. Although I might not know exactly where I will be in the near future, I do know for a fact that I will continue to fight and advocate for my ideals and what I believe in. With a strong heart and a positive mind, I know that if I was able to succeed when I first arrived in the United States 12 years ago, then I can most definitely continue doing so for the next 12 years and on.
The League of United Latin American Citizens, the country's oldest and largest civil rights organization, recruits highly talented and dedicated interns year-round to work with our national office in Washington D.C. Interns can choose to collaborate with any one of the following departments: policy, programs, communications, membership, special events, development, fiscal or executive. For more information, or to apply for a LULAC internship, click here to learn more!