National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed in the United States each year from September 15 to October 15. According to HispanicHertiageMonth.org, the celebration, which originated to commemorate the independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua in 1821, has evolved to recognize the contributions of all Hispanic and Latino people in North America. In honor of this cultural event, Promoting Awareness and Wellness in Students (PAWS) spoke with a few members of the Hispanic community to discuss their thoughts on cultural heritage and education. As each of these community members demonstrate through their own accomplishments, family, education, and support are vital to the thriving Hispanic community.
First, we hear from Mr. Nick Serrano, communications director for California State Assembly Member Todd Gloria, who represents the 78th District in San Diego, where Ashford University’s headquarters are located. Serrano emphasizes some of the core values embedded in Hispanic and Latino culture, in particular family and community. “Family is central to everything we do,” Serrano says. “The role of community is powerful. Standing up for your community and being active in it is powerful.”
Business owner and professional wrestler Thunder Rosa discusses the challenges she faces as a Mexican and offers tips for adult learners pursuing higher education. “It’s not easy,” she recognizes, especially for those who have family to support. But there’s hope, she says, offering encouragement for anyone attending school. “Don’t give up!” she says. “It is worth every single sacrifice. Right now might be difficult. You feel like you want to quit. Don’t quit. That’s when you have to work the hardest.”
Dr. Gonzalo Quintero, business owner and civil servant, concludes with his memories of graduating from college and his thoughts on the importance of education for his family’s heritage. “It was always something in the Quintero family to value education,” he explains. “Not only to value a degree, but to value what’s left after you learn. It’s that journey that really helps develop who you are.”
To learn more about Hispanic Heritage, education from the perspective of these community members, and inspiration for adult learners pursuing higher education, watch this month’s video.
Written by Ashford University Staff