By Marshall Cearfoss
After a two-year gap of inactivity, TJC’s Hispanic Student Organization is roaring back to life for the school’s 90th anniversary.
“I’ve always been trying to be a role model for not just Hispanic people, but for all communities,” said sophomore Andres Jaimes, president of the HSO. “I always wanted to prove to people that international students can come here and go with the American dream, you know?”
Noticing a lack of Hispanic organizations on campus for the past several semesters, sophomores Andres Jaimes and Oscar Lara, became dedicated to the revival of the once thriving program.
“When they offered me the position of being the president of the HSO, I saw it as an opportunity to be a role model and leader,” said Jaimes.
Jaimes hopes to tap into the already diverse community in Texas and promote cultural spread.
“Texas is known for having a pretty good Hispanic culture,” said Jaimes. “But for Hispanics, it’s a little more complicated than what other people think it is, but it’s a great culture. It’s really fun, and it has music and dances and food.”
Originally from Venezuela, he is impressed by the vast cultural variety at the school.
“One of the things I like about TJC is the diversity. There are people here from pretty much everywhere in the world – all the races, and everything. I like that, personally. It kind of reminds me of home,” said Jaimes.
With nearly 2,000 Hispanic students at TJC, some people felt that a student organization devoted to their culture should be a permanent part of the school.
“The HSO has been one of the top organizations in the past,” said Nidia Hassan, Director of Admissions and the official sponsor of the HSO. “While reviving it again, sometimes we build such a big commotion about it, and I want to make sure we live up to those expectations.”
Hassan has been the sponsor of the program since its commencement in 2006. When she went to college, she participated in minority organizations like the HSO, so she wishes to reignite that encouragement through this in other students.
“We actually had a minority student organization, which, I was a minority within the minority because there were only two Hispanic students,” said Hassan. “Our goal is for [students] to obtain something so they can feel that they have succeeded and then go into the community to allow and support others to do the same.”
Sophomore Maikel Yanez from Venezuela has high hopes for the organization’s goals.
“For me, as an international [student], it’s really hard to be involved with all this, because we’re different cultures here,” said Yanez. “With the organization, I feel like I have a second home. I can meet new people with different cultures who are also trying to feel comfortable here in the United States.”
Freshman Jacqueline Nateros will also be participating in the efforts of the HSO. She has some impressive goals she wishes to see the HSO reach.
She hopes “…to become a huge organization that everyone talks about,” said Nateros. “There are many international students coming, so they can feel like there’s actually somebody there for them that came from the same place they came from, and that they’re not alone here.”
Before the group had hosted any public events or mixers, the estimated amount of members already reached 60, and many more are expected to join through the semester. The HSO will have meetings every two weeks, beginning Sept. 7 at 4 p.m. in the Ornelas Gold Room. For information about the group, contact Nidia Hassan at 903-510-1883 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org