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By Jennifer Barrera - Staff Reporter
Before she made her mark as the president of the LatinX Student Association, Erika Juarez felt alienated from the Highline community.
"Before joining this club, I felt very alone and I felt like there weren't many other Latino students on campus," Juarez said. "I felt really isolated and excluded within the community and college itself."
She soon realized she wasn't alone; during last year's LatinX summit, the previous club president convinced her to join.Juarez said she found comfort in connecting with other LatinX students.
"We're able to create an environment where we feel like family and it makes us want to come to school and enjoy being at school instead of just going to class and going home," Juarez said. "We're able to take a moment to enjoy our experience here."
Although members feel the club provides emotional and academic support, Juarez said many students don't feel the need to join a club.
"People think they don't have time," Juarez said. "But once people come here, they realize it's a breather and you're not just a stressed college student."
Even students who feel detached from their Hispanic origins can find themselves rekindling their connection.
"It's provided me a connection to my culture that I previously didn't know I had," club member Astrid Duenas said. "It connects me to other people who have the same culture and gives an open space to share your culture."
Juarez said the club doesn't just sit back and stay quiet. Last year, it was crowned the club of the year, organized a rose sale and attended an array of forums.
"We make everything here important," said a club member. "We attend every event on campus. It's not a group that's isolating themselves."
Whether one is only a quarter LatinX or doesn't have a drop of LatinX blood, Juarez said anyone is free to join.
Club meetings are held in Building 8, room 302, every Wednesday from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m