Meet this year's LUCES Scholars: (From left to right: Grace Trujillo, Kyra Ambrose, Elizabeth Hernández, Farah Khan. This photo was taken during our LUCES 2012 Gala as the 2011-2012 LUCES scholars welcomed our current scholars).
Grace Trujillo: Here am I. Mighty and full of potential. A pioneer, in all her endeavors. I face everyday with my teeth bared, because giving up is not an option. I’m a first-generation student. I’m a child of divorce: raised on food stamps and Salvation Army clothes. With every obstacle I overcome, I thank my roots for making me strong. I carry a copy of Rodolfo Corky Gonzales’ poem, "I am Joaqiun" with me everywhere I go. I live by the final sentences of his poem, ‘I WILL ENDURE! I SHALL ENDURE!!’ At Loyola I’m a Social Work major with minors in Women and Gender studies, Peace studies, and Sociology. This year I’m the Public Relations and Marketing intern at the Gannon Center for Women and Leadership. I’m a LUCES scholar. And I’m a co-founder for the Loyola’s sexual assault survivor support group and I’ll be working very closely with them this year. With all that I involve myself in I have two hopes: Better the world, and grow as a person. Outside of Loyola I love participating in acts of rebellion. Whether it’s marching in protests, putting up fliers with enlightening messages, or speaking out about the injustice I see around me. If there’s one thing I’ll never forget, it is Pancho Villa’s words, “La Revolución no ha terminado.”
Kyra Ambrose: I am 20 years old. I am from Shelby Twp, Michigan. I am a junior at Loyola, majoring in Political Science and International Studies, with a minor in Black World Studies. I am a member of the African Student Alliance, Unicef, a 2012-2013 Black Cultural center Event Coordinator, and a LUCES Scholar. I love candle lit dinners and long walks on the beach....just kidding! I love to explore and learn about new cultures and to live life one day at a time. I feel that people never take enough time to enjoy the most simplest pleasures, so i try to remember to do that as much as possible. I love Luces because its a program that addresses the reality of being a woman of color. LUCES provides a safe space to explore the good and the bad of many situations and lifestyles, and to not be judged for it. It also builds a sisterhood and a support group on top of it. LUCES provides women who understand you and push you to grow and succeed at whatever it is you're going to do. It is literally a sisterhood that has changed my life.
Elizabeth Hernández: Currently 20 years old, but soon to turn 21. I am hometown proud- Chicago born and raised. I am a junior/senior with a Political Science major and Sociology, Spanish, and Women and Gender Studies Minors. In addition to my involvement in LUCES, I am a Gannon Scholar and a Co-President for the Latin American Student Organization. LUCES is important to me because it has provided me with a space where my experiences are validated, where I am empowered by a community of strong women, and because it affords me the opportunity to build strong networks and support systems with other women of color on our campus. LUCES nurtures, inspires, provides a safe space, and seeks to develop leadership skills in women of color at Loyola. And that is a beautiful thing.
Farah Khan: Hello! I’m a junior at Loyola, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience and Women and Gender Studies and I’m pre-med. I was born and brought up in Lincolnwood, which is a small suburb right next to Chicago, and I commute from there. At Loyola, I am involved with the Muslim Student Association (MSA), American Medical Student Association (AMSA), and LUCES. I’ve recently started understanding the importance of education and family in my life, and I try to incorporate those two things into everything I do. To me, LUCES means growth. During this college-phase of life, most of us are trying to figure out who we are and what we stand for. LUCES is a group that really promotes growth and gives Women of Color room to identify themselves as leaders. Being around the wonderful, supportive women in LUCES allows one to learn about herself while learning about the commonalities she shares with other women of color.