Every year the Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute grants the Lider Award to students who are interested in giving back to the Seton Hall Community. Through a special gift, the Unanue Latino Institute is able to provide financial aid and support to selected students who show an appreciation of the Latino culture. This year the award was granted to two females: Chloe Mullen-Wilson, a senior majoring in History and Spanish who is in love with the Hispanic culture, and Jaquelin Rivas-Tejada a sophomore from Salvadorian descent majoring in nursing.
Twenty-one-year old, Chloe Mullen - Wilson has intentions of "working with student youth" in La Casa De Don Pedro, a social service and Latino-based nonprofit organization operating in Newark. "My mission statement for this project is to empower students by improving their self-esteem, helping them feel more connected to school and their academics, and encouraging them to plan positively for the future." Chloe believes that many students don't see college as an option because they are misinformed and don't have enough resources to pursue higher education. Mullen - Wilson will lead the 10 members of the Unanue Latino Institute's Exito Leadership Club on this project. Together, they will mentor at-risk young adults from La Casa De Don Pedro to show them that higher education can be the right path for them. Chloe "would like to focus on high school volunteering for the majority of the projects for the year, as I think that is where our students would benefit the most from." This group of Seton Hall students will meet once a month with the high school students from La Casa De Don Pedro and will complete workshops, all planned and hosted by Chloe. Aside from providing mentorship to the students, Chloe plans to raise money for La Casa De Don Pedro in order to make this project self-sustainable.
Just five miles away in Orange, Jaquelin Rivas-Tejada has discovered that putting young adults on a field to play soccer will keep them occupied and off of the streets. Just like Chloe, Jaquelin agrees that there are lessons in life that can't be taught in the class room; "we will show these students good sportsmanship and teach them how to follow rules and directions. They will learn how to work as a team and strive for a common goal." Rivas-Tejada will be organizing weekly soccer tournaments for high school students at the Don Bosco Youth Center in Orange. After some of the tournaments, Jaquelin wants some of the Seton Hall University soccer players to come and speak to these young adults about leadership and maybe even play soccer with them too. Jaquelin will be in charge of picking teams and making sure the opponents are at equal playing levels to make the game as fair as possible. "Each game is 10 minutes long, and depending on the amount of teams, they usually get to play every team. We go by wins, so if you win you get a point for your team. Once every team has played a certain amount of games, we tally up who gets to compete for first, second, and third place." Once the academic year is over, Jaquelin aims on having a big celebration; awards will be given out with the player's name in recognition of their accomplishments.
The Unanue Latino Institute's Executive Director, Denisse Oller, has expressed her pride in these two Seton Hall students. "Jaquelin and Chloe's desire to give back to our community embodies everything we believe in at the Unanue Latino Institute; we wish them much luck and success in all of their future endeavors, and we encourage other students on campus to follow in their footsteps by applying for the Lider Award."
Categories: Faith and Service