2023 Graduating Seniors

Alejandra Gonzalez

Alejandra GonzalezAs a CHLS student, I was able to study my roots and learn about the impact I can make in my own community. Furthermore, the CHLS department has motivated me academically to be accepted into the master’s program at CSULB, where I hope to continue my analysis of Chicanos in the United States. As I finish my last semester as an undergraduate, I would like to reflect on those who have helped me in this challenging road. I would like to thank my family and friends who have helped me achieve this monumental goal!

Anasazi Ochoa

Anasazi OchoaIt was always a personal commitment to be a member of the Chicano/Latino Studies program. It is here that I have found solace in connection to my community, and I will continue to be a voice for them. I owe it all to my family for their continued support, and I hope to make them proud. Si se pudo!

Bella Felix

Bella FelixChanging my major to Chicano/Latino Studies was honestly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I say this because the CHLS department has been nothing but welcoming and encouraging of not just me, but all of their students. My professors taught me about the story of mi gente and empowered me to continue their legacy. With a newfound sense of pride in my identity, I have been able to better serve my community. I’ve done work for a non-profit, called Inner-City Struggle and am currently teaching 5th grade at Anahuacalmecac. While I find my work so fulfilling, I am applying for the Master of Arts in Education, option in Social and Cultural Analysis of Education program at CSULB, so I can find work in an administrative position. Obtaining my B.A. in Chicano/Latino Studies and having these amazing work opportunities wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the CHLS staff and my family. I am grateful to everyone that I’ve crossed paths with during my undergrad journey.

Brando Lopez

Brando LopezAs a first-generation scholar, navigating the space of higher education has proven to be a challenging endeavor. Not only has CHLS helped me to navigate that process, it has allowed me the opportunity to tap deeper into my cultural heritage and express my Mexicanidad. To the entire CHLS community, thank you for making me feel like I belong. I intend to pursue a graduate program upon completion of my undergraduate degree that centers around the Latino experience. To my family and friends in attendance, thank you for your continued support over the years, si se pudo. Special thanks to my parents and brothers, mis logros son sus logros.

Caisey Flores

Caisey FloresDuring my time at Long Beach, and with the CHLS department, I have learned and gained important information that I will use in my post-undergrad. I want to thank all the professors who I had the privilege of taking their classes and who have allowed me to expand my ways of thinking and get me out of my comfort zone. I am also grateful to have met some of my classmates who brought me a sense of community, and I wish them all the best in their futures. After graduation, I plan to work full-time meanwhile studying for the LSAT to attend law school. My goal is to practice public interest law to work, and help underrepresented communities. Lastly, I want to give a huge shoutout to my parents, my two brothers, and my best friends who have shown up for me in numerous ways. I would not be here without their constant love and support.

Christian Lemus

Christian LemusMajoring in Chicano and Latino studies has given me the opportunity to meet great professors and colleagues who are passionate about what they do for the Latino community. It has also helped me become more aware of the struggles and successes of the people around me and has helped me grow my critical thinking skills which I use in my everyday life. This major has influenced the way I see myself and has made me proud to be a second-generation Chicano, a minority, and a college student pursuing higher education. I would like to thank my entire support system which includes my family, friends, professors, and peers and I am excited for the journey ahead of me. I’m proud to be pursuing higher education and growing as a person and I’m happy that through everything I’ve learned within this major, I can improve myself and uplift others as well. Go beach and fight on!

Diane Duran

Diane DuranCHLS has allowed me to further my knowledge about myself and my community. The connections I have made with my CHLS peers and professors have been very special for me. This is a great way to close up my time at CSULB, as I have completed most of my courses online with little connection to other students. The CHLS professors have all been kind, approachable, and relatable. These qualities made it easier for me to connect with them. I would like to thank you my husband Ulysses and son Ray for all of their love and support. 

Hamidna Figueroa Orozco

Hamidna Figueroa-OrozcoAs a first-gen Mexican college student being part of the Chicanx/Latinx Studies Program has allowed me to learn and understand my ancestors’ stories and histories better. It has allowed me to accept where I come from, who I am, and also fueled my persistence. I feel indebted and committed to all Latinx communities, specifically immigrant communities, to collectively heal and continue to community build. I want to thank my family for their love and continuous support, I could not have done this without you.

Janet Santana

Janet SantanaAs I’ve completed my bachelor’s in Chicano and Latino Studies, I’m thankful to have found a community here at Cal State Long Beach. Forming a part of Caminantes has allowed me to meet new people who are also passionate about educating in the future. My favorite classes have been CHLS classes. In these classrooms, students feel as though they are able to express themselves and speak about issues that other students may not understand. Being able to share space and create a community with my peers and professors creates a natural learning environment that allows me to succeed at this university. I plan on getting my teaching credential to become a Spanish teacher, and in the future, I would like to pursue a Master’s in Education.

I would like to thank Cecy Soriano who has given me more things than she will ever know. She has given me the space to become a better person. Gracias a mi familia y Jose quien me han apoyado durante mi tiempo en esta universidad.

Julian Martinez

Julian MartinezCHLS has taught me about the triumphs and struggles of LA RAZA.
CHLS has inspired me to implement what I have learned into my life and music.
CHLS has brought inspirational people to my life who have provided support and rich perspectives.
CHLS has made me the scholar I am today. CHLS has changed my life for the better.

Leslie Garavito

Leslie GaravitoDuring my time at CSULB, the CHLS department has meant a lot to my growth within Academia. This major has allowed me to dive deeper into my identity and connecting with my heritage in and outside the classroom. Majoring in CHLS has given me many opportunities to expand my knowledge through their ongoing support and guidance. I am forever grateful for my community. My plan for the future is taking a gap year and plan to apply for Graduate School for Social Work to be a Counselor. I would like to thank my family and friends for always giving me love and support.

Lessly Marquez Calderon

Lessly Marquez Calderon“Como Latina, Centro-Americana, y Angelina, Chicanx/Latinx Studies have served me well in shaping my knowledge and awareness as a member of society and of my community. It has equipped me with a deeper awareness of my place in the world. My presence is important, as I am an agent for change in shaping the future; while pushing towards inclusion, compassion, and understanding, we can bring positive change to our everyday lives in social, political, and economic contexts.

Through my studies in CHLS, I have reaffirmed que las Latinas pueden con todo y mas, that Latinas are capable of breaking generational and cultural traumas, that first-gen Latina daughters can their silent battles. The knowledge I have gained on this journey will follow me forever and will allow me to give back to my misrepresented South Central. Finally, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my parents. Gracias a mi mamá y a mi papá, estoy aquí hoy recibiendo mi licenciatura en los Estudios Chicanos y Latinos con la esperanza de poder ayudarle a otras familias como nosotros. Sus esfuerzos desde que llegaron a este país no han sido en vando. Los amo con todo mi ser.”

Michelle Cervantes Nuñez

Michelle Cervantes NunezChoosing the CHLS major was one of the easiest decisions I’ve had to make. I was unsure if I would find and have community in higher education, but fortunately, I was able to find that in the CHLS major. The CHLS major has taught me that if you want to get there you go alone, but if you want to go far, you need to have a community of people to rely on. As of now, I will be attending CSUN in January to obtain my teaching credential and master’s in education. I’d like to thank my sisters, mom, folklorico family, and friends — I love you all, everything I do is for you all. Slay.

Noe Dominguez

Noe RamirezAs a Chicano Major and Political Science minor, graduation marks the end of an enriching academic journey. Throughout my studies, I have gained a deeper understanding of the political landscape and how it effects marginalized communities like my Latinx community.

My Chicano Study Major education has allowed me to explore the cultural, social, and economic factors that shape the experiences of the Latinx community in the United State. I have learned about the struggles for social justice and empowerment.

As I reflect on my education, estoy agradecido con mi familia que me apollo durante mis estudios, este logro es didicado para ustedes. I am also grateful for the opportunity’s education has brought me as a nontraditional student father of 4 children that previously fell through the cracks of suppression. Moving forward, I am committed to pursue my end goal of becoming an Immigration lawyer to advocate to my community and work toward a more equitable future. Que Viva La Raza !

Sammantha Ruiz

Sammantha RuizAs a Chicano & Latino Studies major with a minor in Psychology, I have had the opportunity to develop a deep understanding of the experiences of Chicanos and other marginalized communities, as well as the social and psychological factors that contribute to those experiences. More specifically, Chicano & Latino studies has allowed me to better understand and embrace my own identity as a Chicana and has inspired me to become an advocate for social justice. I will forever be grateful for the Chicano & Latino Studies faculty at CSULB. Thank you all.

Angelica Rubio

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Zitlali Huerta

Zitlali Huerta