I joined the HACE University Leadership Network during my freshman year of college, because I knew that I wanted to be part of something big. I am the first in my family to attend a 4-year university and the only one who has had the opportunity to reach for my dreams. Being in a mixed family status, I had felt that there was no hope for anyone to pursue any real dreams, but with the help of HACE I was able to break from these barriers. They not only helped me network with other students on campus, but they developed my professional and academic goals to reach higher than I ever though I could reach. It was difficult, but thanks to HACE I was able to become a leader in my own way and have gained interpersonal and professional skills each year as I continued to expose myself to new challenges. These experiences have led me to become the president of the UIC HACE Student Chapter where my peers and I have been giving back to the UIC community to ensure that students have a positive self-identity and tools to become the new generation of leaders. HACE has empowered me to positively impact the Latino community and to make sure that Latinos are joining the professional workforce.

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