Luz Elena is a junior in the School of Nursing and minors in Global Health + Hispanic Studies. She was born in San Francisco, CA, to Guatemalan parents.
She is involved with various organizations on campus like Istmo y Vos, Minorities in Nursing, and the Intercultural Greek Council. She enjoys recreating TikTok recipes, online shopping, traveling (before the pandemic, of course), and buying candles!
With her nursing degree and further schooling, she aspires to address health disparities in disadvantaged communities, especially the Latinx immigrant population in the U.S., as a nurse practitioner and policymaker. As a nursing student, she has been able to work in research in the Philly Latinx community, mainly focusing on older adults. Additionally, she recently created videos in Spanish highlighting her experience with the COVID-19 vaccine as a vehicle for informing her community. She believes that her position and experiences will contribute largely to the impact she makes in healthcare.
Damaris is a junior in the School of Nursing minoring in Psychology. She’s a first-generation student from Los Angeles, California. She’s a first-generation student of Mexican heritage from Los Angeles, California. She’s also part of CB’22 as the Nursing Chair, Penn First Plus, La Vida Magazine, and Christian Union.
Damaris has been exploring the music industry, and is proud to have an internship with a publisher/record label this semester! She loves going to concerts, singing, dancing, and photography. And she’s proud to be a member of Cipactli!
Hey everyone! Welcome to our first Cipactli Highlight where we showcase one of our very own members. For our first Highlight, we have Chris Gonzalez!
Chris is a senior in Wharton studying finance and minoring in political science. On campus, Chris is involved with Asociación Boricua as the External Relations Chair. He is from Springfield, MA, is Puerto Rican and Honduran and his favorite food is mofongo. He loves cooking, football, playing video games, and hanging out with his girlfriend. A piece of advice Chris would give to underclassmen is to leave Penn’s campus and explore Philly early and often. He’s proud to be a part of Cipactli and says he will miss this community when he graduates!
"Like a lot of my first–generation and/or low–income friends at Penn, and my urban public high school friends who decided to attend a selective university, I questioned whether or not I deserved to be here. Maybe I had been too idealistic. Maybe I should’ve listened to those who told me I wouldn’t fit in at an Ivy League institution. Maybe it really wasn’t a place meant for people like me."
"Everyone thinks a Penn student is always this perfect kid with good grades who volunteers weekly, runs multiple clubs, launches start–ups, talks a lot in class, and speaks multiple languages. But we forget that even though we were all accepted into Penn, we don’t all stand on the same playing field when we enter. Some of us came from more humble beginnings, and when we first walk down Locust, each of us comes bearing weighty achievements and even weightier baggage."
- Sabrina Aponte, Cipactli's 26th Class, Class of 2019
Ivan Sanchez is a 2018 Penn grad from Atlanta, GA. He is now lives in Philadelphia working in management consulting for telecom and media companies. At Penn, Ivan majored in Marketing and studied abroad in Milan. He was involved in the Latino Coalition, Cipactli Board, and Wharton Cohorts. In the future, Ivan hopes to work in the entertainment industry. ¡Suerte Ivan!
Melvin Reyes '19 after presenting his summer’s research on cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) administration as part of the IMB Summer Fellowship Program with the University of Pennsylvania, sponsored by MindCORE, the Center for Outreach, Research and Education. He hopes to continue his work at the Laboratory for Cognition and Neural Stimulation!
This month, Cipactli members serving as mentors for the Unidos Mentorship Program (between upper and underclassmen) joined their mentees on a day-long trip to Washington, DC! A highlight of the trip was a tour of the White House Nicolas Garcia '16-'15 organized!
Cipactli Members Marco Herndon '16 and Mabel Oviedo '16 are pictured here before the White House with Unidos mentees and members of the wider Latino community.
Cipactli Members joined Books Through Bars at their annual Valentine's Day Pack-a-Thon on February 13th! Books Through Bars is an inspiring organization that sends books to incarcerated people across the Northeast. We hope to continue partnering with them in the future!
Cipactli Community Service Chair Marco Herndon '16 and member Stephanie Tillit '16 thoroughly enjoyed giving back for Valentine's Day!