Spotlight: Adrian Carrillo
Wenatchee Valley College at Omak student Adrian Carrillo is pursuing his goals to make a meaningful impact on the older generation and their families.
Adrian is currently earning his accounting and business degrees and plans to start his own business after graduation.
“I’ve been learning how to run a business so I want to open up adult family homes with the help of my girlfriend who is getting her degree in nursing,” said Adrian. “We really enjoy working with the older generation. Sometimes they are put aside but they have so much life still. We just want to make it the best it can be for them. When you care for them like they are your own, it makes all the difference.”
Adrian had little interest in attending college, until his girlfriend convinced him to take a history class taught by Kimberly Belgarde. The class inspired to keep taking classes and to get involved on the Omak campus – serving two terms as the Associated Students of Wenatchee Valley College at Omak (ASWVC) student senate president.
“That class really sparked something in me. Professor Belgarde is a passionate and inspiring teacher and her influence impacted me and I finally understood that education is really important,” he said. “[As president] I was able to really grow as a leader and I’ve been given a huge opportunity to learn about the campus and get to know the faculty and staff.”
Adrian also started the MeCHA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán) club on the Omak campus. He said student senate, MeCHA and the conferences he attended challenged his views on diversity and social justice.
“These experiences really just broke my lenses,” he said. “I was pretty conservative before. I went to conferences and it really inspired me to advocate and fight for human rights.”
Recently, Adrian was recognized for his understanding of the importance of diversity and cultural enrichment in a community.
“You have to realize that not everyone is going to think like you, or have the same opinion as you. Everyone has a lens, and if we are not willing to shatter those lenses, we are not being diverse, we are not being accepting, in fact we are being ignorant,” he said. “We have to take a second, lay our guard down, and break the ideas we have been taught for years, and really just understand how others experience life. By acknowledging it and breaking down those old ideas, we can accept and embrace each other and live together as a society.”