Spotlights: Luz Estrada
"Getting involved in a club changes your life. You will build relationships for life, you will become a pillar of the community. Understand your boundaries, it’s ok to say no, and work your way up. Just do what you love doing. For new students, don’t be afraid of stepping into those new roles and don’t be afraid of asking questions. The more you ask and the more you are willing to be in those spaces, the better." - Luz Estrada, ASWVC President and Vice President of QSA
Please introduce yourself:
“My name is Luz Estrada. I am a second year student here at WVC. Currently, my leadership positions are in student senate as the president and I am also involved in the Queer Straight Alliance here on campus as the vice-president.”
What motivates you to be a student leader?
“For me it’s been about wanting to create positive change. What I mean by that is making this campus a more inclusive and safe space for all people. I have too many friends that don’t feel safe where they are at, so to me, to be able to be in these positions of power and be able to do that for them is my biggest motivator. Being president of senate and having people able to see a face that is not normally represented as a leader is super important for me. I also do this for my little brother. He is such a sweet kid and I just want him to know that just because he is a presenting brown male, he can still do whatever he wants, just like I have. He is thirteen and he loves me. He looks up to me a lot. He won’t say it, but I know he does."
How has attending Wenatchee Valley College impacted you?
“WVC has impacted my life because of the community I’ve built. I started here in winter of 2017 and the first year I was not involved at all in any clubs. I actually was super sad. The following fall I volunteered to be president of the QSA and it just kind of spiraled. It has made my life fuller, better and more fulfilling. I got to meet so many friends that I would have never met in any other place. Especially other queer people here on campus. I know so many and we have our own community – we are like a family and those are friendships that I will carry on for the rest of my life. It’s the same for senate. I’m so glad I’ve been given the honor and privilege to do those things and it’s not only here at the college, it’s also within the community. It has just made my life better."
What are you plans for the future?
"I think a lot about my future. Somebody I really look up to is Erin Tofte (Associate Dean of Campus Life, Equity & Inclusion). You know, she’s my mentor and an inspiration to me. I aspire to be at least 1/30th of the person she is and I would like to do something like what she does here at WVC. I would love to work at a foundation or be a founder of something that helps low income people of color who are queer and that directly impacts and changes lives for the better. Especially something that helps queer youth – that would make me the happiest."
Have you benefitted from scholarships while enrolled at WVC?
"I have received College Bound and also I have FAFSA and the Washington Apple Education Foundation Scholarship. It completely covers everything. I am really lucky. The people there are really amazing and I would tell anyone to apply for it."
What advice would you share to a new student or one who is not involved in any clubs?
"I think from personal experience I can say that getting involved in a club changes your life. Just get involved, it’s worth it. You will build relationships for life, you will become a pillar of the community. Understand your boundaries, it’s ok to say no and work your way up. Just do what you love doing. Don’t get involved in something you are not passionate about. For new students, don’t be afraid of stepping into those new roles and don’t be afraid of asking questions. The more you ask and the more you are willing to be in those spaces, the better."
This interview was conducted in 2019. Read a current spotlight: 2023 Spotlight on Light Estrada Gonzalez