Community Advocate

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You are really involved in the Latino Club. Tell us about that.

We’re trying to reach out to Latinos, or other people that don’t necessarily have to be Latino, to get them to know what’s going on in the community. We’re letting people know we’re here.

When did the club start?

It’s actually been going for a while now. This year, we’re trying to reach out more to other clubs like BSU (Black Student Union). Before I started going, they would do the field trip to Ashland to go to the Shakespeare Fest. So again this year, we are able to go with them. We are trying to do more fundraisers together.

How much time do you spend working for the Latino Club? Your sister’s in it, too, right?

Actually, quite a bit. We discuss a lot of it outside and then we come together. My sister and I will talk about it a lot and whatever ideas someone else has. We’ll have our own board meeting the day before and then Thursdays we usually discuss and all come together. We’re always together. My sister’s a junior and my brother’s 19 and graduated in 2013. And then I have two foster siblings.

How is that for you?

It’s kind of hard. We do therapeutic foster care, so a lot of the kids have problems like anger problems. And so it’s kind of hard sometimes when they haven’t had a good day because the house doesn’t really have a good day.

How well do you speak Spanish?

I understand a lot more than I can speak. With my siblings, I understand the most and speak the most.

What activities do you like to do at Grant?

I’m in advanced dance. I’ve never actually gone to a dance studio before or did those kinds of classes. The summer of 2014, my sister and I had our quinceañera and so we did a lot of dancing for that. We spent months practicing.

What did you do?

There was like a traditional waltz and then there was a father-daughter dance. And then there was a (dance) called a brindis. Most people do a toast, just like a regular toast. But we did a dance instead.

How is speaking in the Latino Club different than speaking in class?

I guess it’s more like presenting. For me on the inside, it’s different. When you go to present a project, it’s sometimes something you don’t want to do. But with our club, I really feel passion for it.

What is your role in the club?

We had a presidency. But it wasn’t really working out for our group because we had all of us wanting to be leaders, so we have representatives. I am one of them.

What keeps you going when times are tough?

Trying to get our mark on the school. I don’t want to keep going through high school knowing that our club is something that people just say like, ‘Oh, they’re the Latino Club.’ Like during the club fair, people would just walk by the table and just look really surprised and then just walk away. Nobody really knew about our club. I want to make it so that people know about us.

Have you felt overlooked in the past?

For Black History Month, we do all different kinds of things. For Hispanic Heritage Month, nobody says anything.

How do you want to be viewed?

I don’t want to be seen as someone who just walked down the school one day and nobody really knew who I am. I want people to know that…I’m here, too. ◊

Lael Tate
About

Lael is always anticipating the thrill that comes after a revealing interview. She says that her experience as a reporter has taught her the right balance between organized planning and trusting her instincts. Outside of the magazine, she loves reading early in the morning and spending hours on an acrylic painting. She plays lacrosse at Grant, is happiest when the sky is overcast, and will never pass up a long game of Monopoly with her sisters.


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