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Vol State Hosts Latinx Experience

Last updated on March 9, 2019

By Gloria Cortes

Volunteer State Community College’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion hosted an interview preparation and the Latinx Experience through Storytelling event Thursday Jan. 31, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., in the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room B.

Office of Diversity and Inclusion administrative assistant Lori Miller said 41 people signed into the event, but there were others who attended but did not sign in.
This event was open to the public and offered food.

Elsa Mercado. Photo by Gloria Cortes
Elsa Mercado. Photo by Gloria Cortes

Guest speaker Vanderbilt University Ph. D. candidate Elsa Mercado led the events after Office of Diversity and Inclusion Manager Jeff King briefly opened the event and introduced her.
The first half of the event focused on interview preparation. Mercado spoke about the qualities of a successful professional interview, what to expect from it and what not to do in an interview.

The second half of the event was the Latinx Experience through Storytelling, where participants shared their stories in partner and group activities in order to connect with the Latinx community at Vol State.

“It’s important to remember where we come from, who we are and where we’re at. It’s impressive for me to see how hard some folks work. It’s really humbling for me because we’re all in this together, we’re all just trying to do the best that we can,” said Mercado.

Some participants would share their personal experiences to the entire audience.

“There’s moments where I’m thinking, ‘Man, I don’t think I can do this anymore,’ ‘It’s too much’ or ‘I should be working,’ I have all of those thoughts too, so to be in a room full of people who are still making it despite having the same- if not more- responsibilities, it helps me to keep going as well,” said Mercado.

Mercado is scheduled speak at a Vol State conference Feb. 26 for educators.

“[Office of Diversity and Inclusion staff] are students’ support resources as well…. It’s my job to help you, but for me it goes beyond a job, it’s something I’m committed to. I’ve been an educator a whole 30 years, and my dedication isn’t about the job, it’s about working with students and showing them the way,” said King as he concluded the event.

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