India Walker Full-Time Student at Buffalo State College Political Science Major She is both Puerto Rican and African-American. She hopes to transfer her major to business. She is currently employed at M&T Bank as a full-time Senior Service Associate/Relationship Manager. Her passion is her business. She is a small business owner of Indigo Spirit (Est. 2020). It is a metaphysical/spiritual store selling a variety of products (crystals, herbs, incense, candles, jewelry, teas) aimed at helping individuals learn, grow and heal. Her goal with Indigo Spirit is to help educate others about tools and methods to help heal mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. She says, "Being able to intertwine my aspirations of being a young Puerto Rican & Black business owner at the age of 21, as well as my passions is a dream come true. The values that growing up in a predominately Hispanic community have taught me, paved the way for the woman I have become and the woman I hope to be in the future. That woman is strong, independent, kind, fierce, determined, and adamant on reaching her goals." Her career goal is to work in the financial banking world and eventually become a manager of her own branch.
Aaliyah Mathews Sophomore Student at Buffalo State College Forensic Chemistry Major She is in the chemistry program, and she hopes to be in the CSI field or become a forensic lab technician. She was recently appointed to the positions of Philanthropy and Fundraising. For her philanthropy positions, she had to come up with ideas on how to help those in need. She came up with an idea to give back to homeless women. Her idea was to create a bag or purse to collect and fill it with necessary women products. One of her goals is to encourage people, including young Hispanic women, to chase their dreams and become whoever they want to be. She gives back to the community by volunteering in events such as Grease Pole festival, Mission Ignite, and Trojans Take Action. She says, "Giving back to people really makes me happy because it makes them happy. Seeing the smiles on their faces really motivates me more to do more community events now and in the future."
Daniela Hoegerle Undergraduate at Canisius College Major in International Relations with a minor in Spanish which essentially focuses on the study of law and politics on a global scale. She is very passionate about her culture and proud of her Peruvian mother. She was born in the USA after her mother migrated back in 1998. Just this past semester, She took a course on the politics of Latin America and learned a great deal about the governments and economies of the majority of Central and South American countries, including Peru. Most importantly though, she realized just how much politics affects the community and society directly. Government and politics determine the handling of the healthcare system, infrastructure, access to education, environmental issues, LGBT and gender rights, and indigenous rights just to name a few. As a result of hearing and learning about the significance of politics in Latin American society, she developed a personal interest in law, specifically the issues of immigration and bilingual education. Because of this, she plans to either attend law school specializing in immigration and international law, or receive specialized training to become a professional interpreter or translator. She says " My desire to help the Hispanic community has always been and will continue to be present, regardless of what career I end up pursuing."
Abbey Staebell Graduate student at Canisius College Abbey's Masters's program is in Special Education/Childhood Initial 1-6 with a Birth through 2 extensions. She was born in Colombia, South America. She has 4 years of experience with special education children and each year she becomes more humble and confident that this population is where she needs to be. After graduate school and a few years of official teaching, she hopes to go back to school to become a school administrator. She believes that her past experiences being a mentor for new hires, the “go-to” person for classroom behaviors, and an advocate for her students and co-workers allows her to become a school administrator to change negative work environments and be a leader. She Volunteering for Families of FANA in Buffalo, a non-profit organization that holds events throughout the year for Western New York families to come together and celebrate our culture. They hold an annual Golf Tournament and Silent Auction fundraiser to raise money for the over ninety children who still live in the orphanage in Suba, Colombia. She says "I have learned that we cannot just help ourselves and live in a bubble when there are so many beautiful cultures, languages, traditions, and people we can learn from every day."
Mariyah Gonzalez Sophomore at Canisius College Pre-med Biology Major, with plans to attend medical school to obtain her M.D. Mariyah's goal is to open her own practice in pediatrics; she wants to create a community that allows Hispanic females, along with those of color, the opportunity to overcome the statistics that society has set. She plans to have a diverse team of professionals work with her to create a workplace that is empowering. She hopes to show society that hard work and determination can make any dream a reality and to set an example for the younger generations that the circumstances in which life throws at us are for our ultimate benefit. She says "To be at my future level of success I feel it would be my duty to help others push towards their goals, similar to how my family helped push me towards mine. I would not be who I am today without the love and support of my family pushing me to be successful in every way possible."