Join ALAS and spread your wings

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The Association of Latinalas American Students or ALAS for short is the only organization at Black Hawk College catering to the Hispanic community. Being a student organization, the students lead the group’s discussions ranging from community service to special trips to leadership conferences. The students have different reasons on why they joined the club. Ricardo Cardozo was curious about the club and he’s been part of the group ever since. ALAS member Alma Garfias, who is a nursing major and also a member of the International Student Association, recommends a couple of things to the group. “It’s the only association for Latin American students at Black Hawk College. I think that we should be involved in even more community activities and I hope the club is advertised more,” Garfias said.
Some, like Rey Grijalva, joined the organization to meet new people and to help the community. “The best thing to me has been getting to meet new people while promoting a better understanding of our culture within the confines of not only our college, but our community,” Grijalva said.
President of the organization, Favi Nache, a pre-med major, describes what it’s like to be president. “Being a leader in ALAS is great. You get the opportunity to talk to different people, and meet new people,” Nache said.  “Being president is more than what I expected, and although there have been ups and downs it has been a wonderful experience.”
ALAS Secretary Betzy Maya is also a pre-med major and plans on transferring this spring to Loyola University in Chicago. She says that being the secretary of ALAS has taught many things, “such as becoming a better student and learning how to communicate with others. The most unforgettable experience will be the people that I met. I will carry the memories and lessons with me for a long time,” Maya said.
The other officers are Vice-President Fina Nache and Treasurer Guillermo Jimenez. The organization advisers are Cristina Greene and Psychology professor William Hampes.
The club’s mission statement reads: “We are a group of students encouraging other students in the pursuit of a higher education, the development of leadership skills, the participation in community service, and the promotion of diversity through educational, cultural, and social activities.” A mission that has proved to carries over even after students leave Black Hawk College, since many past members are active community volunteers, business leaders, and promoters of diversity in their perspective careers.  Whatever the reason for joining, many who have past through the ALAS Club have set an example for the present group and others to come.  Thus showing that regardless of our heritage, or economic background, through education and groups like ALAS, we can improve our lives and in turn improve our community.

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