Irma Castaneda

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Irma Castaneda

Hometown: Rolling Meadows, IL

Graduation Year: 2013

Major: Sociology and Spanish double major; French minor

Involvement at Wheaton: Student leader on the Unidad Cristiana cabinet, Debate team member, Wheaton Evangelism Team member, and a 1-2-1 Leader for the Office of Multicultural Department.

Why Wheaton? I had actually never heard of Wheaton before, but when I heard about it, I was excited about the idea of learning in a Christian academic atmosphere. I always went to public schools, so it was refreshing to hear about a community where I could grow in my faith, and academically. Also, when I visited, I stayed with an amazing host!

Why your major? I love sociology because it explains a lot of my life experiences, and Spanish because it helps me connect with my Mexican culture. I hope to work with immigrants when I graduate, so my majors will definitely help. I’m also doing a French minor simply because I love the language and have studied it since 6th grade.

Favorite class and what you liked about it:

Hispanics in the U.S.: I took this class last semester, and I loved it! It helped me understand my experience as a second-generation Mexican American. I learned about prominent Hispanic scholars who wrote about the same experiences I went through. This class really helped me process my ethnic identity, and made me proud of my roots.

Race and Ethnic Relations: I took this class with Dr. Kim, one of my favorite and most challenging professors at Wheaton. This class taught me to use my sociological imagination, made me fall in love with Sociology, and gave me the vision to minister to immigrants post-Wheaton.

Favorite place on campus: The quaint little lobby outside Mac 1.

Free time activities: I like to do Zumba with my friend Elizabeth Au, watch movies with friends, and go get ice cream or coffee in downtown Wheaton.

One thing you wish you knew about college before you got here: I wish I would’ve known to be more involved my first year. I got really consumed with school as a freshmen, but looking back, I would’ve been more involved with brother-sister floor dorm activities, and I would’ve been more intentional about growing in my friendships.

Most memorable experience at Wheaton: My most memorable experience at Wheaton was working for the B.R.I.D.G.E. program last summer. I was able to serve alongside a diverse group of Wheaton students, ministering and mentoring first-generation college-bound, African American and Latino high school students wanting to go to college. We all became a big family, and it was totally a life-changing experience for me, and basically for everyone involved.

Favorite campus event: The Talent Show

What person at Wheaton has had the greatest impact on you and why? My mentor Veronica Ponce, the B.R.I.D.G.E. program coordinator, has had the greatest impact on me because she has counseled me through a lot, has provided many opportunities for me, and has been such an inspirational role model, showing me what a strong woman of God with a life-changing vision looks like.

About me: I’m a first-generation college student in my family. My family immigrated here twenty plus years ago from Mexico, but I was born and raised in Illinois. Seeing first-hand how difficult it is to be an immigrant in the U.S., I would like to use my sociological knowledge and my language skills to serve immigrants—possibly as a lawyer.

Bonus fact: I love Spanish, French, and English worship music. So from time to time, I like finding the same song in all three languages (if possible) and mixing the lyrics as I sing. It sounds so cool!

Hometown: Rolling Meadows, IL

Graduation Year: 2013

Major: Sociology and Spanish double major; French minor

Involvement at Wheaton: Student leader on the Unidad Cristiana cabinet, Debate team member, Wheaton Evangelism Team member, and a 1-2-1 Leader for the Office of Multicultural Department.

Why Wheaton? I had actually never heard of Wheaton before, but when I heard about it, I was excited about the idea of learning in a Christian academic atmosphere. I always went to public schools, so it was refreshing to hear about a community where I could grow in my faith, and academically. Also, when I visited, I stayed with an amazing host!

Why your major? I love sociology because it explains a lot of my life experiences, and Spanish because it helps me connect with my Mexican culture. I hope to work with immigrants when I graduate, so my majors will definitely help. I’m also doing a French minor simply because I love the language and have studied it since 6th grade.

Favorite class and what you liked about it:

Hispanics in the U.S.: I took this class last semester, and I loved it! It helped me understand my experience as a second-generation Mexican American. I learned about prominent Hispanic scholars who wrote about the same experiences I went through. This class really helped me process my ethnic identity, and made me proud of my roots.

Race and Ethnic Relations: I took this class with Dr. Kim, one of my favorite and most challenging professors at Wheaton. This class taught me to use my sociological imagination, made me fall in love with Sociology, and gave me the vision to minister to immigrants post-Wheaton.

Favorite place on campus: The quaint little lobby outside Mac 1.

Free time activities: I like to do Zumba with my friend Elizabeth Au, watch movies with friends, and go get ice cream or coffee in downtown Wheaton.

One thing you wish you knew about college before you got here: I wish I would’ve known to be more involved my first year. I got really consumed with school as a freshmen, but looking back, I would’ve been more involved with brother-sister floor dorm activities, and I would’ve been more intentional about growing in my friendships.

Most memorable experience at Wheaton: My most memorable experience at Wheaton was working for the B.R.I.D.G.E. program last summer. I was able to serve alongside a diverse group of Wheaton students, ministering and mentoring first-generation college-bound, African American and Latino high school students wanting to go to college. We all became a big family, and it was totally a life-changing experience for me, and basically for everyone involved.

Favorite campus event: The Talent Show

What person at Wheaton has had the greatest impact on you and why? My mentor Veronica Ponce, the B.R.I.D.G.E. program coordinator, has had the greatest impact on me because she has counseled me through a lot, has provided many opportunities for me, and has been such an inspirational role model, showing me what a strong woman of God with a life-changing vision looks like.

About me: I’m a first-generation college student in my family. My family immigrated here twenty plus years ago from Mexico, but I was born and raised in Illinois. Seeing first-hand how difficult it is to be an immigrant in the U.S., I would like to use my sociological knowledge and my language skills to serve immigrants—possibly as a lawyer.

Bonus fact: I love Spanish, French, and English worship music. So from time to time, I like finding the same song in all three languages (if possible) and mixing the lyrics as I sing. It sounds so cool!