NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Illinois State University Latinx students had a chance to network with members of the Latinx Alumni Network at a panel discussion on Friday.

College and Career Planning: Confronting multiple issues for Latinos, Latinas and Latinx after Higher Education signified why representation is important.

The panelists shared their experiences of navigating ISU and their professional careers as members of the Latin American community. The alumni also talked about improvements the institution has made such as the addition of the multicultural center but not without noting the change came from student advocation.

Being first-generation students is one of the many ways that bridged the gap between the current students and alumni. Freshman Denise Flores said she is grateful and motivated to see a representation of people who came before her that look like her.

“I was tearing up a little bit in the corner. It was really nice to be able to know that they’re okay, and I’ll be okay. It was reassuring 1,000%,” said Flores. “It’s just really nice to know that there are people that look like me and that are like me that have been through this experience before and have made it out.”

The Latinx Alumni Network offers two scholarships. To apply click here.