Representation matters. As a queer person of color I feel like my presence is so necessary, especially for students who look like me. Since coming to Santa Fe, I’ve fallen into my purpose. I’m very passionate about serving underrepresented students, serving as a mentor and advocate for underrepresented students. That’s what I’m here for: to be that mentor, that guidance for students who don’t have that, especially first generation students who didn’t have the parents to tell them, ‘Hey, this is what you should do.’ I’m trying to give those students what I didn’t get. I went to predominantly white schools my entire life. There weren’t resources for people of color. I didn’t have someone I could call a mentor; I didn’t see anybody on campus who looked like me, which can be discouraging. Now that I see that and know I have the ability to make a difference in students’ lives, I feel like that’s what I’m here for. Whether it’s just a conversation, whether it’s me showing them the steps it takes to go from their A.A. to their bachelor’s to a master’s program, whether it’s writing a letter of recommendation, whether it’s being the advisor of the Black Student Union, I’ll do anything I can so that students know that I’m here to support them.
– Clarinda Choice, Student Activities Specialist