Hispanic Heritage Month: Meet ACC Students in Ascender

From September 15 to October 15, Austin Community College District (ACC) recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month, a month celebrating the history and culture of those of Hispanic/Latinx descent. 

ACC spotlights students involved in the college’s Ascender program as the celebration continues. Ascender is a student support organization created to help improve the educational outcomes of Latino and underserved student populations throughout the state.

First, meet Ana Juan, a Social Work student who credits Ascender as a major factor in enrolling at ACC. She says her mentor pushed her toward her academic and career goals. The program also allows her to make friends and build community. 

“ACC has really made me feel more comfortable in transitioning from being a high school student to a college student with dreams that are being achieved one step at a time,” says Ana.

Ana, who is also a member of the college’s Alpha Gamma Pi and the AMIGOS programs, ACC’s Honor Society chapter, and student-led cultural club respectively, said that ACC has fostered a supportive environment for Hispanic students. She says embracing her heritage is a meaningful experience.

“I celebrate my heritage every day by speaking Spanish and [with] the food I eat every day; from the colorful bracelets I wear from Mexico to the music I listen to with my mom,” says Ana. “It reminds me where my parents come from and the beautiful culture. It reminds me of the struggles my parents go through every day and the ones I’ve been through. Being Hispanic isn’t easy, but I am so proud of my heritage.”

Next, meet Vianca Pinto, a Business Administration student. 

“Ascender not only helped me make connections; it helped me burst out of my shell– not be afraid to talk, [and] not be afraid to be involved in different things,” says Vianaca. “It has helped me align. I now know I can do anything I want to.”

Vianca hopes ACC and all students will continue commemorating Hispanic tradition, culture, and achievements.

“I’m from Mexico,  and I’ve been here since I was 11 years old. I forgot how we celebrate back home,” says Vianca. “I just feel really proud that I still get to do that here in another country. So I think it’s very important that ACC keeps doing that and [is] recognizing every culture.”

For a complete list of events and to submit a message, visit http://austincc.edu/hhm.

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