Graduates and their work for social change – Whitman Wire

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Artwork by Madeleine Stop.

In commemoration of Women’s History Month, Whitman alumni who identify as women bring a message of success after graduation and share their work in different fields, as well as the challenges they face. had to overcome.

Lizbeth Llanes ’21, a double major in Hispanic Studies and Sociology, continued her work with the Whitman community by becoming an admissions officer for Whitman last June. In her work at Whitman, Llanes continued to support programs that improve access to education, especially for students from underrepresented backgrounds, such as the Student Scholarship Program (VSP) and colleges. Changing Lives (CTCL), an organization of which Whitman is a member. of.

“Last year, when I was a senior intern, I started working with VSP. This program is about bringing students to campus to visit, especially students from underrepresented backgrounds,” said Llanes: “It was my project last year, so I knew I wanted to stay in admissions because I wanted to work and increase access to education.”

More recently, Llanes has been working alongside admissions officers across the United States to promote admissions information sessions in Spanish.

“We organize information sessions in Spanish to raise awareness [to] people whose first language is not English, and that way we can connect with the parents and really help them through the university process,” Llanes said.

When asked what advice she would give to women who want to follow their passions, Llanes reiterated the importance of getting out of your comfort zone.

“You really have to push yourself forward and push your comfort zone because I think a lot of opportunities come from pushing yourself and being uncomfortable as long as you’re in a comfortable range,” Llanes said.

Nadyieli González Ortiz ’21 is a Whitman graduate in politics and has always been passionate about working on the ground to promote social justice.

“It’s something close to my heart. It feels like something that impacts subjects close to my heart on a deeper level. Academics can get tough, or the work can even get boring at times, but ends up getting into something that excites me, which is social justice in general,” said González Ortiz.

González Ortiz currently works as a legal assistant for the law firm Michael Jacobson PS in Seattle. Most recently, she conducted research at Michael Jacobson PS advocating for people in crisis and separated families.

“Justifying this to the immigration system requires research and showing them the facts even though sometimes it is, you have to remind them…It’s definitely been a learning process,” González Ortiz said.

González Ortiz underlined the importance of the representation of women in the field of law and the importance for her of being inspired by the lawyers in her firm.

“You don’t have to get it right the first time, but seeing successful examples is always nice. So keep going until you are that person, or maybe you already are,” González Ortiz said.

Alumna Nancy Delgado ’21 graduated with a major in film and media studies and a minor in sociology at Whitman last year with an interest in “understanding displacement internally and internationally,” Delgado said. .

Currently, Delgado works for the Latino Donor Collaborative (LDC), an organization that conducts research on Latino representation in media. At the same time, Delgado plans to pursue his passions in higher education.

“I’m still considering graduate school to continue studying this passion I have for moving, which really has nothing to do with media, but I still have to find a way to reconcile the two interests,” Delgado said. .

Delgado stressed the importance of creating a sense of one’s own identity.

“I think we are constantly inundated with messages – some subliminal, some direct – about how we should behave, behave or behave in society. I realize that the biggest limitation of being too obsessing with external validation is that we hold ourselves back from shaping our own sense of identity,” Delgado said. “I find it important to surround ourselves with people who can help us gradually learn to be and do unapologetically what makes us happy.”

Whitman alumni are leading the way to continue generating social change after their time at Whitman.

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