GateWay is hosting our second annual National HSI Week as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. In this article, Luis Callejas shares his thoughts on HSI Week and Hispanic Heritage Month.
1) What does Hispanic Heritage Month or National HSI Week mean to you?
Hispanic Heritage Month means being grateful that my parents made a huge sacrifice by moving to the United States so I can have a better future. It also gives me an opportunity to make my family proud as a first-generation American.
2) How do you feel like you impact the Hispanic Community with the work you are doing?
I believe I impact the Hispanic community with the work I am doing. I am inspiring others by showing them that no matter how hard life can get and what we’ve gone through you can always strive for greatness.
3) How has your Hispanic heritage or culture shaped your life and who you are?
My Hispanic heritage has helped me appreciate my life more and enjoy the riches my culture has to offer like the delicious foods.
4) What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome?
One of the biggest challenges I had to overcome was living with the fear that my mom would be taken away from me as my dad when I was 7 years old.
5) What is something you feel people should be more aware of?
I feel people should be more aware of possible opportunities and getting out of their comfort zone. Once you start networking and making connections you start to get more opportunities presented to you. Don’t be afraid to show how hardworking you are and your enthusiasm.
6) What advice would you give to Hispanic students currently enrolled in the same program that you are/were in?
My biggest advice would always be to not give up. As simple as it sounds it's real advice. I remember my first semester failing 3 out of the 4 classes I took and I was questioning if college was the right choice for me. It was overwhelming and frustrating not being able to be successful in my first semester. Thankfully, I have been able to build a great foundation and support system! I am now in my last semester preparing to transfer to Arizona State University to earn my bachelor's degree in Finance!