The melodic notes of salsa music wafted out from the Lorain County Community College Center Commons during the lively celebration of Spanish Heritage month on Oct. 15. Sponsored by Student Life, the main goal was to recognize and promote the Spanish culture by way of presenting a panel of inspirational speakers to students.
The panel, composed of a range of people from different backgrounds, engaged students with narratives of their background and struggles. Many of the speakers grew up with very little, and from the little they were given made great successes of themselves.
The panel was composed of Dr. Rosa Rivera-Hainah, Ruth Rivera, Judge Michele Silva Arredondo, Emmanuel Detres, Mike Ferrer, and Martin Leibas. Leibas in particular fascinated students with tales of his life as a former drug dealer, and how he became a success from the struggles he went through and how he is now promoting community betterment.
Katie Mulholland, LCCC student majoring in Early Childhood Education, spoke highly of the event. “I liked hearing the stories, it was so inspiring. I didn’t know how some of them came from nothing even being in jail, to where they are now,” Mulholland said. “Sometimes I think about what I’m doing, but then I hear their stories and it’s inspiring.”
Student Senator Ben Colon-Nieves gave a brief introduction to the panel in Spanish, and a light lunch was provided to all those in attendance during the panel. After the Q&A session was completed, traditional Hispanic dances were performed and the crowd was invited to join. The event accomplished what it set out to in regards to inspiring all those who were in attendance and the promotion of Spanish culture.