Hitting the Ground Running
By Matt Morgan
Latinx Leadership Incubator (Sept. 8-11) helps incoming transfer students make the most of their college experience.
When incoming transfer students start at Santa Clara this month, they won’t just be worried about making friends or finding their way around campus. They’ll be thinking about what comes next, too.
With just two years of college remaining, transfers don’t always have the luxury of time. The task of finding resources, securing internships, and building a professional network starts right away.
Fortunately, they won’t be on their own. Starting Thursday, Sept. 8, Santa Clara will host a four-day Latinx Leadership Incubator open to all Latinx transfer students from the class of 2024. The online event brings together Latinx alumni, leaders in business, as well as Santa Clara faculty and staff to offer insights, give advice, and discuss available resources.
“Transfer students, especially from community colleges, don’t plan to be here for four years,” vice president for Enrollment Management Eva Blanco Masias says. “So it’s even more urgent for them to build the social networks and capital because they don’t have four years to do it.”
Thursday’s event will feature panels hosted by campus groups like the Career Center and the Drahmann Advising and Learning Resources Center. New students are sometimes hesitant to take advantage of these kinds of available resources, Blanco Masias says. She hopes by meeting the staff and learning how they can be helped, students will be more likely to reach out.
“We want to humanize these services, so there’s no fear, no stigma,” Blanco Masias says. “These resources are here for you, too.”
In addition to panels with members of the Santa Clara community, the incubator will feature sessions with University President Julie Sullivan as well as several guest speakers, including Professor Louie F. Rodriguez from UC Riverside, Guillermo Diaz, founder and CEO of Conectado, Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca '24, founder of Dreamers Roadmap, and Edward M. Alvarez '60, J.D. ‘65, president, Latino Education Advancement Foundation.
Many of the event’s speakers were transfer students themselves and will share their own stories, as well as offer tips on how to succeed in and after college.
“We want students to be able to reflect on their own journeys and find confidence and conviction in who they are,” Blanco Masias says.
In just its second year, the Latinx Leadership Incubator has already had a positive impact. After last year’s incubator, several participants went on to land internships resulting from connections they made in the incubator.
This year, Blanco Masias plans to keep the momentum going through quarterly check-ins. Hosted in collaboration with groups on campus, these check-ins will highlight additional resources and give students the chance to expand their network.
“We know with transfer students, particularly those who had online education the last two years, there’s a lot coming at them at once,” Blanco Masias says. “This is just one thing we can do to help them build community.”
Any Latinx transfer students interested in attending the Incubator are encouraged to register on the event’s webpage.
If you’re a member of the Santa Clara University community who would like to participate in this event in the coming year, please reach out to event organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org.