Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Leadership lived: Student brings her culture to UIS

When senior criminal justice major Jasmine Torres-Gonzalez came to the University of Illinois Springfield as a freshman she knew something was missing. There was no Latin dance team.

During her first semester in college, she founded Ritmo Latino, which helped her share her culture with the UIS campus. The dance team has since grown and changed its name to Global Rhythm, incorporating other types of dance.

“I wanted to bring the Latin culture to UIS, because I wanted people to experience my culture. I wanted them to see the way I was raised with this Latin enriched culture,” said Torres-Gonzalez.

At UIS, she’s learned to become a leader now serving as Vice President of Global Rhythm, Vice President of the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS), Vice President of the Greek Affairs Board, and a mentor for the Necessary Steps program, which helps first-generation college students.

“UIS has taught me a lot about leadership, it has taught me to not be afraid to start your own organization. It has taught me to network and the importance of networking,” she said.

Through OLAS, she’s helped to coordinate many events on campus, such as a Cinco de Mayo celebration and traveled to national conferences. She also helped to bring Greek Life to UIS for the first time during the fall semester of 2013.

Following graduation, Torres-Gonzalez plans to attend graduate school or pursue a career in law enforcement. Ultimately, she wants to become a detective.

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