Hispanic culture club hosts guest speakers


Image courtesy of Hispanic Culture Club.

Hispanic Culture Club hosted two guest speakers, Katrina Colucci-Chang and Andrian Davila, on Dec. 2.

Anna Hsu, Staff Writer

As college application season began its final month for seniors, Hispanic Culture Club hosted guest speakers Katrina Colucci-Chang and Adrian Davila during B block on Dec 2. to speak about the college experience as people of Hispanic heritage.

The opportunity to host guest speakers first surfaced over the summer when Arraya met Colucci-Chang at a summer program as part of a speech competition, in which he was a finalist.

“During the summer, I was part of this program called Hispanic College Institute. It’s for young Hispanic students that are in high school, aspiring to go to college. I was part of the speech competition and I was one of the 10 finalists. I talked about Hispanic Culture Club in my speech, so [Colucci-Chang] reached out to me and said that she was really motivated with my speech, and that if she could ever do a workshop with Mr. Davila with Hispanic Culture Club, then that’d be great. I was honored to have her,” Arraya said.

The speakers placed a big emphasis during the presentation on the process of getting into college and the transition from high school to college as Hispanic students. They also spoke of how their achievements in college led them to where they are today; both speakers have accomplished much in their respective fields. Colucci-Chang is currently a fourth year Ph.D graduate student and researcher at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech Carilion. Davila is a GEM Associate Fellow and a Graduate Representative of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.

Mr. Davila’s advice on quality over quantity was especially impactful to Toro. 

“A lot of the time, he felt like he was in a rush and he had to learn everything, complete courses, and take as many courses as possible in a year, just so he could compete with other people, but he said that it’s more important to take it slow and make sure you’re understanding what you’re doing. [A]t the end of the day, it’s not going to matter how fast you finish something. [What matters is] how well you can do it and how good it is,” Toro said.

Arraya personally left the event more confident about the transition between high school and college.

“I feel like a lot of stuff I could resonate with just being Hispanic and them being Hispanic. One thing that really resonated with me was how he said that the transition between high school and college will be difficult. However, everyone’s able to handle it in their own way, which is something I’ve been really worried about, but their words calmed me, and showed me that there’s going to be a way I’m gonna be able to handle it no matter what,” Arraya said.

Both Toro and Arraya agreed that this event was a success.

“This is the first time we did this, but we considered it a success. [W]e got a lot of people to come and a lot of the people who came to the club enjoyed it so we definitely will do this again,” Toro said.