NYU Latinx Alumni Network
The NYU Latinx Alumni Network connects alumni, who identify within the Latin American and Hispanic communities, to both NYU and one another through various social, cultural, educational, and community service events in the New York City area and beyond. Additionally, the group is involved with major diversity initiatives in NYU, including collaborations with current students through the Center for Multicultural Education and Programs (CMEP), the NYU Equity Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, and NYU Alumni and Parents Weekend. This network uses the term Latinx to encompass a broad diversity of identities and experiences of people of Latin American descent and to reflect the language currently used on campus at NYU. Latinx is a term that includes and welcomes people of all gender identities, including transgender, non-binary, and gender expansive members of our communities. Some within our community may use individualized language that reflects their own experience, such as Latino, Latina, Latine, Hispanic, or specific national/regional communities (e.g., Costa Rican, Brazilian, Puerto Rican, Chicano).
Conectamos a los ex alumnos, que se identifican dentro de las comunidades latinoamericanas e hispanas, con la NYU y entre sí a través de varios eventos sociales, culturales, educativos y de servicio comunitario en el área de la ciudad de Nueva York y más allá. Además, el grupo está involucrado en iniciativas importantes de diversidad en la Universidad de Nueva York, incluyendo colaboraciones con estudiantes actuales a través del Center for Multicultural Education and Programs (CMEP), the NYU Equity Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, y NYU Alumni and Parents Weekend. Esta red utiliza el término Latinx para abarcar una amplia diversidad de identidades y experiencias de personas de ascendencia latinoamericana y para reflejar el lenguaje que se usa actualmente en el campus de NYU. Latinx es un término que incluye y da la bienvenida a personas de todas las identidades de género, incluidos los miembros transgénero, no binarios y de género expansivo de nuestras comunidades. Algunos dentro de nuestra comunidad pueden usar un lenguaje individualizado que refleje su propia experiencia, como latino, latina, latine, hispano o comunidades nacionales/regionales específicas (p. ej., costarricense, brasileño, puertorriqueño, chicano).
Adela Hurtado (CAS ’14), President & Founding Member
Tiffany Acevedo (SPS '23)
Griselle Baret (CAS ’06), Founding Member
Priscila Briones (STEINHARDT '21)
Christiamilda Correa (TSOA ’07), President Emeritus & Founding Member
MariaFernanda Lancheros (CAS '12)
Rosanna Moquete (WAG '23)
Bladimir Quito (SPS '14)
Ingrid Renderos (STERN ’88 & WAG ’92)
Laura Rosado (SPS '16)
Meline Rosales (TSOA '18)
2023 - Innovation of the Year (NYU Alumni Volunteer Awards)
2019 - Innovation of the Year (NYU Alumni Volunteer Awards)
Below you will find events open to alumni from all NYU schools, hosted by the NYU Latinx Alumni Network. Visit the events calendar for a list of all upcoming NYU alumni events. If you're not receiving invitations to events in your area of residence, please take a few minutes to update your contact information.
[Music playing over introduction video]
Christiamilda Correa: On behalf of the NYU Latinx Alumni Network, we welcome you to this audio project recording. My name is Christiamilda Correa, class of '07 from Tisch School of the Arts. And my pronouns are she/ella. It is with tremendous pleasure that we are gathered here today. And five years ago, the Latinx Alumni Network was started as one of the affinity groups at NYU. And to commemorate the occasion, we have invited some of the founding members to share their vision and to reflect on the impact the group has had on the Latina community in the New York City metro area and beyond.
And so our goal in this conversation is to archive our stories and recognize the positive contributions that Latinas who have graduated from NYU have made. And so we hope that this recording will archive and serve as a resource for current and future alumni. And with that, I would love to introduce the folks in this space and I will turn it over to Jimmy, who is one of the founding members and served as co-president of the network.
Jimmy Suarez: Hello everyone my name is Jimmy Suarez. I am an alum of the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development class of 2012 and soon to be class of 2024 as well, as I complete my doctorate. I am currently president emeritus of the group. So I started off as co-president back when we founded the group and along with Christie, and recently decided to step down as I pursued my doctoral studies at the university in order to get a terminal degree and represent in that facet I am Dominican, born in Jarabacoa and also Puerto Rican from the Ponce area.
Christiamilda Correa: Thank you so much Jimmy for that wonderful introduction. I'd like to turn it to Amanda.
Josephine Amanda Sabater: My name is Josephine Amanda Sabater. I'm a founding member and do a lot on the events team and I am Puerto Rican. I just got back a couple of days ago from the island and miss it already. Oh yes, I graduated Tisch 2011.
Christiamilda Correa: And I'd like to turn it to Michelle.
Michelle Polanco: Hello, I'm Michelle Polanco. I graduated CAS in '09 and I am Dominican American and I was also a founding member and parts of the events team.
Christiamilda Correa: Thank you. We're glad to have you. And Jessica.
Jessica Vasquez: Hi everyone, I'm Jess Vasquez. I graduated Stern in 2005. My pronouns are she/her/hers. And I am a Colombian background. I was born in New York, but both of my parents were born in Columbia.
Christiamilda Correa: Thank you. It's tremendous to have each of you in this space and I will share that I'm Boriqua Puerto Rican, so just really glad that we're able to represent from across Latin America in this space and the Caribbean. And so let's start the conversation. So what motivated each of you to become a part of the Latinx Alumni Network. We'll popcorn this?
Michelle Polanco: I'll start. I mean, for me it was missing the community aspect that I felt within NYU when I was at NYU. In terms of my undergrad, I was really involved in clubs, so whether it was LUCHA or Bella Quisqueya or founding C Roots, it really made my experience at NYU so much better. And after graduating and doing life for a while, it was definitely a void that I felt.
Jessica Vasquez: I'll jump in. I'll have to say that I definitely echo that. Going from going to LUCHA meetings every week and then every other week and then graduating and trying to navigate what those corporate spaces are or even what life is after undergrad sort of takes a toll on its own. And it's been really nice to come into this newly found community that's not necessarily newly found. It's almost just reconnecting. And I think that's the beauty of it. In that itself, there's so much to dig into because it's such a large network of individuals. I will say being part of LUCHA allowed me to connect with Latinos across all of the different schools within NYU, and that's something that if you tend to stick to your own school, you can really just stay in that bubble. But being part of these extracurricular clubs that spanned across all of the schools really enriched my experience as an undergraduate student at NYU.
And I definitely missed that as then what I went to call myself a "professional". I really missed having some guidance, having someone to be a so board of how this interview process is going or Hey, can you hook me up at your job kind of conversations. And I think that's what really led me to be part of this newly established network and to really be proud of still being able to receive those emails and know that there are things happening and that this community is reconnecting and has such a solid foundation where you can believe that you're leaning on this community if needed.
Jimmy Suarez: I think for me, I had a very unique experience because my alumni status comes from the fact that I came to NYU to pursue my master's. So I wasn't here as an undergraduate student and I felt that my graduate cohort was one that was very diverse. I feel like I had a lot of folks from different underrepresented backgrounds in higher ed in terms of my class, which I really appreciated because when it comes to diversity, it improves the learning experience of the students in the classroom. And I very much felt that firsthand.
And if I remember correctly, at the time, what NYU had was a multicultural alumni group, so it basically had all of the communities of color together as one group. So when I heard the news that they were going to expand and divvy up into different affinity groups and one of them being the Latinx group, I saw that as an opportunity not just to pursue more leadership in the higher ed space at NYU, but also as many of you're saying, to really help cultivate that community that I know existed from my work with undergraduate students.
And from my experience with graduate students being one myself, I thought that this was the perfect opportunity to really work with like-minded folks to really redefine what the Latinx community was like at NYU. And especially for those that maybe couldn't find it as a student, that they were going to find that community as an alum because there are so many of us in so many different places. And for all of us to unite and create this space for folks to become a part of the Latinx community, I thought was so vital and so important. So I definitely wanted to be a part of it, when I found out that this was the route we were going to take.
Josephine Amanda Sabater: For me, I was definitely one of those students that was more isolated and in my bubble of Tisch making movies and doing my thing. And so when this came about, it felt like that chance to connect to community in this space for me and really felt like I loved my time and the people at NYU and also that was missing for me in my undergrad. And so it's been really beautiful to have that connection, feel like the long-term connection from my time at NYU in a really beautiful way.
Christiamilda Correa: Yeah, I can definitely agree with that. And especially coming from the lens, I was a first generation college student, and so it was really tricky to navigate the school system, especially studying acting in a predominantly, what do you call it, in a predominantly space where the global majority wasn't present in undergraduate. And so finding the Latinx Alumni Network as an adult was a game changer. It was a space and is a space where I can be myself and others can see my brilliance shine, where maybe in a more corporate environment it isn't allowed.
It's a space where we can experiment with different types of programming that speaks to our community and is responsive to the needs of the students who are attending and the alumni who want to foster a sense of belonging. And so it really is a great privilege to be in this seat. And so I'd love for us to talk a bit more with especially those who helped curate the events and the programming. I know that all of these are very intentional, so can we dive in and talk a little bit more about how the group went about deciding programming and the types of events that the community would like? Maybe Michelle or Amanda would like to take that.
Josephine Amanda Sabater: I can start. Well, I think if we're going further back, I mean when the club first started, we were really asking folks what they wanted, trying to understand what we could offer. So in the pre COVID world, we were trying to just get folks in the same room. And I know that for me, I found at the time was working in media and wanted to build more connections that way. And my passion ended up being trying to get folks from different industries in media in the same room to talk with one another to connect and really utilizing some of the partnerships that I know our leadership had put into place.
And then as things have evolved, we've evolved with the times, at least the way I've been engaging with the club has evolved. And so in whatever kind of world you want to describe now with regards to COVID, there was a call for more mental health and wellness programming. And so we put stock into that for the past few months. And I think it's really beautiful that we try to offer what the community feels excited and engaged for. Yeah. Michelle, what do you think?
Michelle Polanco: Yeah, I mean, I echo what you're saying as well because I'm also from media. So a lot of the programming that we did initially was around film and just creativity overall and different types of professions within the creative world, because that was kind of one of the things that we had a consensus on that in our community, we really aren't as informed about all the different types of professions that you can have within media, theater, you name it, right? So I think that that was great to also find that others were in the same space of wanting to connect as well in that space. And like you mentioned, after COVID, it was more following the needs of the, we went back to where we started following what do people want, what do people need right now, which was beautiful.
Jimmy Suarez: I can quickly chime in here from the leadership perspective, Christie, you probably remember it this way too. I remember when we had initial meetings with the NYU team about what type of events we wanted to do as a group, we had a whiteboard just full of different ideas because everybody was just very excited, very energetic about what we could do for the community. And our main goal was to really steer clear of the traditional activities. Let's not just do a social at a bar and get people to mingle. We had a lot of those events already being offered, and we decided if we do an event that's a social, let's do it at a time that's important to us. So if we do a winter social, let's do it in early January, doing Día de los Tres Reyes because that's more meaningful to our community.
Like Amanda and Michelle were saying, I loved how people brought their unique experiences or areas of expertise and their networks into their ideas to make sure that we were offering a wide variety of selection for our community. And when it came to the types of events that we did, they were also very timely. I remember during the Me Too movement how we collaborated with colleagues who were at HBO to do the panel of women in media to talk about their experiences and getting a lot of good feedback from our audience.
I know that we not only went based on our preferences, but also surveyed the community to see what they wanted to do. That was also very important to us. So from my perspective, seeing the people really on the ground planning the events, I was just struck by the passion that we saw in terms of the planning because everybody just wanted to make sure that if you attended a Latinx event that wasn't going to be your last, that you would come back for more and have new friends that you didn't have before you came in there. And I think that that was a very special piece about the programming that we did and still do.
Christiamilda Correa: And to that end, Jessica, I'd love to lift up your thoughts, especially coming from the corporate side. I remember that you were serving as an advisor to the group, really thanks to all of your experience. And will you share a bit more how working at HBO at the time and that collaboration really helped the group catapult to a different level?
Jessica Vasquez: Yeah, I think it's almost like just making use of the folks in our network and really knowing what sort of influence, or not necessarily influence or what resources, that's a better word, what resources they have internally, wherever it's that they're working at, at the time. For me, I almost think that it was perfect timing. It couldn't have been better aligned. At that time, I was also part of the internal Latino employee resource group. I was one of the co-chairs for that group at that time. And so I think that there was a clear opening there. It wasn't a window, it was definitely a door, and the opportunity completely aligned, and it was the best way for me to bring two of the worlds that I was part of and was part of at that time together, knowing that essentially they both fulfill the values that I hold near and dear to my heart, and that these two communities are essentially one in the same. And I feel like my purpose in life is to connect people with opportunities, specifically corporate opportunities or something that's going to get you paid.
I think that this was perfect in the sense of how can I bridge these two worlds that I have lived in and currently live in and bring these individuals together to hopefully form some connections and put some resources behind this to not make it just an event, but also showcase the individuals that are part of both of these networks and really elevate our community in general. So for me personally, it was about bringing both of these communities together, knowing that the underlying, the foundation of both communities and what we're trying to do within both spaces, whether that's a corporate employee resource group or university alumni network group, essentially we're trying to build community. We're trying to be able to say, Hey, we have a plethora of individuals that I can reach out to for whatever it is that I may need at this time. They might not be the person to help me, but they might know someone.
And for me, I'm always the girl that, oh, I know someone who knows someone who knows someone. And I think that that is what's gotten me to a lot of places. And I love sharing that with the people that I know. I always say good people, know good people. And so with that, I try to live my life in connecting a lot of communities, a lot of bridges and a lot of people, and essentially a lot of hearts. So I loved the fact that this was able to take life in its own form because I had those resources at that time where a year later I didn't have those resources. So in a way it was just perfect alignment and I am so grateful for that.
Jimmy Suarez: Jessica, all this talk, it's actually reminding me about the different collaborations and partnerships that we had throughout the years as part of this group. So Christie, I have a question for you as our president, can you please share with us any publicity, corporate partnerships or community initiatives that you've spearheaded during your time with the group in the past couple of years that you feel are the most significant, that have many accomplishments tied to them or that really contributed to the group's visibility and growth?
Christiamilda Correa: Thanks for asking Jimmy. That's awesome. And we were able to establish this incredible partnership with an employee resource cohort that's called Vecinos Collective. And that really was launched because of this women in media event. We stayed in touch with the co-chairs who then developed this wonderful resource for Latina employees across Manhattan in various fields and media, tech, finance. And really what they were trying to do was create a larger space where beyond Hispanic Heritage Month individuals and these employees could benefit from different happenings going on in the city throughout the year.
And so it has become a tremendous asset for our community of alumni because a number of those individuals are NYU grads and are proud of it and didn't know we existed. And so that's expanding our reach. And because of that, we partnered with a local theater company called, Teatro SEA and they're based in the Lower East Side in Manhattan. And each year we collected toys for thousands of Lower East Side students and their families and distribute them. And so we partnered with Vecinos and the previous year during the pandemic actually, we connected with someone who works at Ole'Vision and they were able to get us coverage, national coverage on the morning talk show, Un Nuevo Día.
So we had one of the hosts from that show come and she was a Reina, and so she was there distributing the toys to the children and we were on air. So it was absolutely incredible that we were able to accomplish that as an affinity group and get our message out to frankly, millions of people worldwide. So that's quite an accomplishment that we're proud of. And in terms of other community initiatives, we participate in a lot of community givebacks, like a Meals on Wheels. Each year we distribute meals to families and seniors up in the Bronx. And one of our members who couldn't be here today, Adela, also a founding member, Adela Hurtado, she really spearhead that. And it's a wonderful way because as we know, as Latina people services in our blood, we love to give back. If we have some azucar, we're going to give it to you and invite you over for Cafecito. So it just really encompasses the spirit and who we are as a community.
And so I'll throw it back to you, Jimmy. You're actually talking about that you got your PhD and you're currently employed with NYU. So I'm curious about how this community has helped you develop personally and professionally.
Jimmy Suarez: Absolutely. Thank you for speaking it into existence, but I got one more year before, it's officially mine, so 2024, Dr. Suarez in the making. I mean, I think it's obvious. It was obvious to me, especially when I made the decision, which was very difficult at the time that I was going to focus on my education again, which meant that I was going to step down from leadership of the group, which I knew I was leaving in great hand with everyone there. It was difficult to part ways because being a founding member of this group, we've seen it from its inception. We've seen the connections that we were able to foster with alums that just had never had the opportunity to connect. But I have to say that when I did reveal that to you all, it was great news for everyone. I felt all the support that I needed to take this path.
There was no moment where I felt I was making a mistake. And it just goes to show how much this group values education and realizes the importance of pursuing further education in that matter. So I think knowing that I have a community behind me is something that really gives me strength to continue going with the doctorate. For those who have experienced it or are in the process, they could tell you that there's many moments where people just have to take a breath and question, can I do this? Is this possible? Am I making a mistake? Do I come back and do this later? And I have to say that the Latinx community is one that I feel is watching me, and it's looking and supporting my success in this space, especially as a Latino man, there's not a lot of us with terminal degrees. There's not a lot of us in education to begin with, unfortunately.
So I think that having someone with a doctoral degree that identifies as Dominican and identifies as Puerto Rican is really enhancing that visibility for folks who may not see themselves with any type of degree. So it's definitely something that I feel this community is supporting me in direct and indirect ways. And I'm very honored to say that I've worked with everyone in this call, but even membership have always come up to me when I bump into them on NYU's campus since I worked there to just say, are you done with it yet? Oh my God, we're so excited for you. So I feel that support and it's something that I value very much. And working at NYU, it's a very fascinating place to work in, especially in admissions and especially now where I'm not sure how much I should go into detail about it, but I think we all know that the Supreme Court just made a very serious decision as it relates to how universities make decisions about who goes to college.
And I think that that's something that's going to affect our community very directly in many different ways. And I am hopeful and excited to see how NYU specifically will take steps at action and reaction to this news. And I think that more than ever, the alumni community is going to be important in helping prospective students and applicants realize that this is a place where they can find success and a place where they could find community and show them examples of people that have been through that path before. So again, encouraging and hopeful thoughts in that space as well.
Christiamilda Correa: And Amanda, you spoke earlier about the importance of community, and I would love to have you share with the group and with the audience more about the wellness efforts that you have spearheaded during your time here, and especially post pandemic, the importance that having spaces to connect, especially with these things happening nationally. How is it that our group is addressing these matters? And what has been your vision and the group's vision to realize ways to support each other?
Josephine Amanda Sabater: Yeah, for sure. Obviously acknowledge that these things really impact our community and they disproportionately impact our community, especially a lot of these mental health things, a lot of these, any proportion of our health. So with our wellness series this year, I know there was a call last year for something that kind of offered space for the community, just held space, just a needs to connect as so many of us were feeling isolated in the pandemic. And myself as well, I was moving through career changes, moving through personal changes, and looking for spaces to connect, especially to folks that were having a different kind of conversation than I was having around wellness or on body size around everything. And so for me, when there was a call for a wellness series, I just wanted to focus on community and focus on knowledge that had impacted me positively and impacted my journey positively and share that with the community from Latina folks and see how that could grow.
And so we started the series by having an international dialogue with a doctorate of Nicaragua. We had, I think people from three or four different countries on that Zoom call. And it was a hybrid discussion. We're so grateful to be able to use the new NYU offices that are just set up beautifully for this new world where we are expected to be on Zoom and also want to be in person. And so through this wellness series, we've been able to experiment in that way and really follow these dialogues that are different than the mainstream narrative and that are impacting our communities. So the first one, we talked about body size. We talked about how some of this diet culture stuff that we are all enmeshed in disproportionately impact Latinas. And from that conversation, we were able to build into other conversations featuring a Mexican immigrant life coach talking about imposter syndrome.
And we had a dance class in person in hybrid that was about unlearning toxic fitness culture. And we danced to Latino hits and a lot of Bad Bunny and just had a lot of those happy hormones coming out. And we had mental health event with a Latina social worker who is creating huge change in her community by activating a network of Latinx social workers featured in Afro-Latina intergenerational trauma specialists. And we ended with a community conversation on the impact of affinity networks and how community impacts mental health positively. And so I think the goal with that series, but the goal overall is to really activate our community to really offer a different dialogue and see what feels engaging, offer resources like actual grounding resources, physical resources, but also community resources and hopefully build a bigger network based on this wellness foundation that we've integrated into the group. So yeah, I think I spoke for a while.
Christiamilda Correa: That's incredible Amanda. And Michelle, you are a executive producer and have created a digital platform for people that focuses on intersectionality and creating visibility for underrepresented groups. And a lot of this work aligns with what Amanda's talking about. You're out there creating spaces and redefining how media can support personal growth and empower people. So will you talk about how being an entrepreneur and an alumni and a Latina person has shaped this journey for you and even being part of this group, how it has shaped your trajectory?
Michelle Polanco: Yeah, I mean it's definitely shaped it a lot. Again, with my experience with the clubs and undergrad, it really was the foundation for everything that I wanted to start in eres with LUCHA and Bella Quisqueya and C Roots. It was a mixture of culture and relearning and reeducation and empowering ourselves. So in feeling that void after I graduated, it was around 2015 that the idea started kind of cooking and as time passes and I got to develop it more, the space, NYU LAN specifically really affirmed the need for the space that I was thinking about creating, that I was working towards creating rather. And it really showed me how when you provide these pieces, everybody just grows and flourishes. So it really supported my just leap of faith, I guess to just launch it in 2019. So we'll be five years officially at the end of this year.
And overall, the experience with NYU LAN, it's been really great to see just how team collaboration and overall leadership really works magic to build and create programming and impact communities in a way that when we first started, we didn't know where we were going to get ourselves into. So that also helped me navigate how I navigated eres and my entrepreneurship overall. I mean, not it's a lonely journey sometimes or most of the times. So I think that having the support of just what Jimmy was saying, that celebration and support that you feel like there's a community behind you have somewhere to be a part of and just continue to grow and align with other folks that do want to create and be involved in community was also very powerful while we were creating things for eres and trying to navigate what type of platform we were going to be.
So I mean, overall, it's just been a tremendous journey for sure in terms of learning and just growing and collaborating. And I think that that's really the point of this space and of eres, it's having that space to really tell your story and to really archive things and to connect and be in a space where you can be yourself. You mentioned earlier that you love this space because you could be yourself, and that's definitely something that is echoed in eres as well, our motto is, be you, own it. So it's really about how community can lift each other up, basically. How the individual can grow within the community and also help the community grow.
Christiamilda Correa: Yeah, that's really beautifully put. And so would love to ask the entire group words of wisdom. What are messages that you want to leave to recent alumni and our global community of alumni, especially the Latina folks who may be listening? I'll kick it off to Jess.
Jessica Vasquez: I'm thinking about it and I get a little emotional. The one thing I would say is find yourself sooner. Don't doubt yourself that much. Don't spend so much time doubting yourself. In my case, even years. Get comfortable in getting to know yourself. You're stronger than you think you are. You are already a badass. And definitely get started on exploring what you want to do, what your dreams are, and don't worry, your passion and your dream will find you. You just have to work towards it as well.
Josephine Amanda Sabater: Yeah, I would say, I mean similar to what we've all been talking about, find your community as well. I feel like when you're able to explore these spaces, it's a really unique environment where you share something really powerful and meaningful. And when you walk into rooms full of Latinos, Latin people, full of people that share an identity with you, they want to help you and be willing to kind of lean on that and ask for help and in perhaps ways that feel unconventional, but are the ways we actually get things done, we're just taught to, no one is self-made, we're just taught we just do it ourselves. But that's not the truth ever. And I feel like finding community, this community other communities has really impacted me personally and professionally, and I wish I had found it sooner like you all are talking about. And so yeah, I think that's it.
Jimmy Suarez: I resonated a lot with what you said, Amanda, because I think my answer to the question is this motto that I really try to live by, which is en la unión está la fuerza, in unity, there is strength. And I think it speaks to exactly what you were describing. You don't have to do this alone. And I think that that's important for members of our community to know that we here as a Latinx community will always be here to support you and uplift you in whatever it is that you are passionate about. And it just, we're here when you're ready. I know that for some, they might be ready as soon as they graduate. For others they may need to go out into the world, do their thing and then come back. I think it's just important for anyone listening in to know that your community will be here for you when you're ready.
Michelle Polanco: I think for me, the words of wisdom would be more along the lines of just really taking the time to be with yourself and honoring yourself and honoring your background and taking the time to really celebrate it. I think that a lot of society, life, media and all that stuff has a lot of negative messaging around our community and what we can and cannot be. So it's very important for us to kind of mute that and know that we can do anything that we really put our minds to. And we are so resourceful and so creative and so powerful that taking that time to really getting to know yourself and honoring that and the community that you're a part of helps in feeling less alone as well.
Christiamilda Correa: And there's this Instagram meme that I saw years ago and sticks with me, and it says, "If a tortilla can rise up, so can you." And so I carry that sentiment that this group is here for all of us and each of you, and I don't know where I heard it from, but I carry it with me that each of us are the CEO of our own life. And I asked the question, who are the collaborators that will help you achieve your wildest dreams? And I bet you they're right here in this network. I also say that JLo has her team, her dream team, her glam team. Create that for yourself. If you need to do headshots, reach out to somebody from Tisch. If you need to lawyer, go to somebody from one of the programs, talk to Stern Business. And if you're looking for mental health, talk to an alumni. There's the Latinx social work affinity group that's out there, and the Latino Social Work Coalition with Erica Sandoval, who leads that.
So there are plenty of resources within this network, and if we're not personally connected, we're one or two people away to those who can. So let's really celebrate the great force that is our group and go live a big life.
Jimmy Suarez: Christie, whenever a group shares their words of wisdom, it feels like we're about to end. But before we do, you already know that I'm all about the chisme and a little birdie told me that your time as president of this group is coming to an end soon, and it's because starting in September, you're going to represent us on the NYU Alumni Association. So first and foremost, I need to say felicidades, congratulations. I think that this is fantastic news. But I guess I want to hear what your thoughts are on what you hope to see for the future of this group. I mean, you've been there from the beginning, from day one. That this is of course going to be a bittersweet moment to see you go, but at the same time, very exciting to see what this next step is going to bring.
Christiamilda Correa: Wow, thank you so much, Jimmy. And it truly is a privilege to be serving and continuing service with NYU Alumni Association in a bigger capacity. And I'm super excited to stay in touch with this group. I feel that we are all well healed and positioned to keep making opportunities for our current students and alumni thrive, and for each of us to just have amazing collaborations together. I know that one of the projects that we'll be launching in September is a level up in the workplace series, and the first installment will be Dress Your Best for Less. And so we're collaborating with a celebrity stylist who's going to be making over four Latina professionals and two of whom are going to be current students or recent graduates of our community. And the event is produced by us. And so we're going to do a wardrobe refresh, mini makeover and really celebrate how as professionals, we can authentically present ourselves in the workplace.
Because once we do all that internal wellness work from that Breathe, Explore, Restore series, we can then level up by focusing on our outward appearance, how is it that we want to show up in the world? And so I hope for the future of this group that we're able to bring our full selves into spaces outside of this affinity space. That we're able to say “Hola, mirame” and just fly because each of us are so dope and intelligent and bright, and let's get rid of this imposter syndrome that many of us have had and use this space to create opportunities for each other. And when we make it, we turn back around and we say, ven conmigo come with me and keep on and keep on. So with that, I want to thank each of you. Are there any closing remarks from folks? Because this was truly an inspiring hour together.
Josephine Amanda Sabater: I just really want to say what a beautiful space this is. I can speak from my own experience kind of engaging and having to step back because of career and then coming back. And I'm really grateful that this network and for the leadership of this network that this has been a space that folks can come back to. Like Jimmy was saying, that folks can really experiment with what they want to do and their passions, like Christie was saying and have support in this space. And I know that's been my experience with the group as I've navigated career change and all kinds of stuff. I have found really beautiful support in this network, and I just am so excited to see how this continues to grow and really want to thank the leadership who has kept this going for five years. It's no small feat. And so I just want to really acknowledge that before we close. Thank you everyone.
Jessica Vasquez: Yeah, I agree, Jimmy, Christie, y'all held it down. It's a commitment to commit to chatting for an hour, but there is a huge commitment in saying, I'm going to do this until it's done. I'm going to continue to do this year after year, and we're now hitting the five-year mark. Incredible, incredible growth, incredible work and incredible commitment that just speaks to the passion, the work ethic, and to you as individuals who care so much about this community.
And I am so proud of what it has turned into, but primarily also want to give you your flowers and everyone on this call, everyone has done something, but I feel like I've known Christie for a long time and I have stepped away from land a little bit, but I see it from the sidelines and I'm like, this girl is just diligent. That's my girl. She's through and through. I'm clapping from wherever I may be and just know I'm just right there, but not right there. So tap me in when you need me. It's like double Dutch. You need me to jump in, I'll jump in. Definitely want to give you all your flowers. And it's just beautiful to see the seed was planted and you all watered it day in, day out, and if whatever seed wasn't growing, you replanted another seed. And I can imagine us having a similar conversation 10 years from now and it being in a different place, but yet still true to its purpose. So thank you for doing this for all of us.
Michelle Polanco: Yes, absolutely. I am going to ditto what both Amanda and Jessica said, I think that it's been so inspiring to just see leadership overall and the passion and relentlessness has been beautiful to just watch as everything has unfolded. Because similarly, as I come in and out, the emails still come and it's beautiful to see all the things that are still happening and that it's still so very much alive. So thank you.
Jimmy Suarez: And I think what I would add to that, especially serving as co-presidents with you, Christie for a while there, is that it was your unwavering commitment and tireless efforts with this group were just so obvious and apparent that I think you kind of made it easy for me to step out when I did because I knew that the group was going to be an amazing hands with you leading the charge all on your own. And as folks have mentioned, even from afar, just getting newsletters, getting emails about events that are happening from the group, just always brought a smile to my face to know that the group is still thriving and doing right by our community. And to everyone else on the call, I think that your contributions, whether at the leader in the space, a mentor, or even just as a volunteer overall has been invaluable in us fostering this group.
I mean, it's hard to believe that it's been five years. I just thought that we decided it was fun to do an audio recording. I didn't realize it was a time sensitive type activity, but it's exciting to know that we are thriving after five years, especially thinking about how much has happened in the world these past five years. And here we are still strong and still community, still supporting each other. So I think a thank you to everyone on this call. And my only regret about today is that we're not doing this in person. I feel it'd be a lot louder, a lot more energy, a lot more festivity, because every time you all shared something, it just really resonated with me. And I feel that there's a lot of great news that was shared today that I wish you heard La Booya because we were yelling and cheering while we were on mute here for each other.
Christiamilda Correa: This was really so delightful and truly humbled, and I'm so glad we were each called to be of service. So now for the listeners on this call, if you are an alumni, if you identify as Latina, come on over, be our friend, come to an event. We're going to do a little salsa with you. We're going to do a little museum trip. Anything that interests you will make it happen. So it's really been such an honor and a privilege of served as President. Jimmy to be co-president with you, Jessica, Amanda, Michelle, to have been in partnership with you to make these ideas come to life and to those other founders and current members who weren't able to join us today, we see you and we thank you and we are grateful for all that you have given. And to the next gen, we're watching. We're waiting. Let's do this. Thank you everybody for your time.
Josephine Amanda Sabater: Yes.
Christiamilda Correa: wepa
Jimmy Suarez: Get off mute, everybody.
Michelle Polanco: Make some noise.
Christiamilda Correa: Palante, Siempre.