It takes courage to move away from your home and family in search of opportunity, and to reach outside of your comfort zone to make new friends.
That's exactly what sophomore Chantell "Chanty" Armijo-Cruz is doing. She's one of five extended family members who personify a positive trend at St. Scholastica of Latinx students making the campus a more diverse and welcoming place. (Latinx is a gender-neutral term used in lieu of Latino or Latina.) Just a few years ago, Latinx students were one of the smallest minority populations on campus - today they are the largest, with a first-year retention rate higher than the average student.
"I would come and model the quinceañera dresses," she said. "I would do traditional Mexican dances here for the Latino Student Union. I started feeling how welcoming the environment was." She also took part in the Youth Theology Institute, a spiritual and vocational retreat for high school students. "I stayed here for two weeks in the summer, and I really loved it here."
Even as a freshman, Chanty quickly embraced a number of leadership roles. She served on the executive board for LSU, is vice president of Diversity and Inclusion on the Student Senate, and is a manager of the Professional Clothing Closet that coordinates donated clothing for students.
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