Latinidad in Coming to Age

By Irma Lopez-Calderon

When I first started this journey, I was introduced to Ms. Crispell who is the restorative justice counselor at DSA. We spoke about DSA's culture and most importantly, clubs and resources such as the Latinx Student Union which she shared was started by a student. That student in particular was David Fernandez, a now high school senior. Going to the first meeting, I was surprised as it was student-led and David led the room as they focused on their mural project.

Getting to know David over the semester has been interesting yet very nostalgic. I see a glimpse of myself and where I was a year ago. I wanted to leave my hometown and explore what else was out there waiting for me. David is curious and wants to do the same. As I have been able to learn more about David, we learned about similar struggles that we shared, but also about triumphs that we are proud of. As David prepares for his next steps in his academic career, he finds what it means to find identity and truth in the flawed systems around us. I try to let David know that these systems don't define us, we are supposed to surpass them.