Home Away From Home

LULAC provides support and leadership for Hispanics at GHS

Grecia , Photo Editor

Ten years ago, a teacher at Gunnison High School (GHS) initiated a club that has become more like a family, creating a safe space for students to come together and provide leadership opportunities. Since then, the club has become a home away from home for certain students at the high school.

Krista Drendal has advised the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) for six years. Their mission is to provide leadership opportunities for Hispanic students at GHS. In the past, students have volunteered locally at food banks nursing homes; they’ve also volunteered outside of the valley, in Grand Junction, at homeless shelters, nursing homes, and food banks.

LULAC is also involved in joining the Diversity Program at Cherry Creek, located in Denver. Over 300 high schools come together to learn about race, immigration, and LGBTQ+ issues.

“Through activities such as concessions, churros, and activities surrounding Hispanic Heritage week, LULAC supports diversity amongst the student body,” said Drendel, who is also a Spanish teacher at GHS.

There are twenty-five members of LULAC this 21-22 school year. Omar Medina, a junior at GHS who has participated in LULAC for three years, mentioned learning lessons such as communication skills, teamwork, and networking, by working in group projects and volunteering.

“It gives us opportunities that we would not have and has created a space where we can all come together,” said Medina.

Senior Maria Blanco has participated in LULAC for all four years of her high school experience. Blanco explained that many of the members knew each other before entering LULAC, which has helped create closer bonds. Also, while doing fundraisers and volunteering, they share the same experiences, which has made the whole of the club value helping others. 

“LULAC Has helped create having an open mind about situations and has helped individuals explore new activities and find new passions,” said Blanco.

Finally, LULAC has created an environment at GHS where members are grateful for representing their leadership skills, which many say has meaning. They are also given opportunities to learn about their Hispanic heritage.