Victor Sotelo '18

Victor SoteloThe Catholic University of America is blessed to have student leaders who take ownership of their education and make the most of their undergraduate experience embody our University's mission and values. These students' involvement in clubs and activities enriches their time at the University and provides them with invaluable leadership opportunities: they are often presidents, club executive officers, Orientation or Resident Advisors, Student Ministers, or representatives on Intercultural Leadership Council. These students often serve as mentors for their classmates and prospective students-their stories can serve as roadmaps for success and model how to get involved in CUA's multicultural community.

We recently sat down with senior nursing major Victor Sotelo to learn more about his work on campus.

What are the intercultural programs that you have been involved with at CUA?

"It is difficult to specifically point out which intercultural programs I participate in on campus. Whenever there is an opportunity to attend an intercultural event, I try to attend as best I can. I spend a lot of my time planning and coordinating events with the Filipino Organization of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) . But along the way, I - along with the organization - take up any opportunity to collaborate with other cultural organizations on campus."

How has participating in these programs affected your experience at CUA?

"Participation in events, such as dance performances, potlucks, bilingual masses, and club meetings (to name a few,) have provided me with the opportunity to share my own culture and to participate in the culture of others. Through these programs, I have been able to meet some really hardworking people who are passionate about where they come from."

Why do you think intercultural programs are important to a student's experience?

"Cultural programs are important to a student's experience because they permit for a greater sense of understanding on what it means to be both individual and integrated on a college campus. As a Filipino-American, I feel empowered when I can share my identity with other Filipino-Americans on campus. Having multiple cultural organizations allows me to share my culture with others - and vice versa. From a further perspective, the group of cultural organizations at CUA allow for a collective sense of intercultural pride."

Victor is one of many students at The Catholic University of America working to promote diversity and inclusion on campus and beyond. Whether students like Sam are coordinating club events, engaging the Washington DC community, or travelling the world, The Center for Cultural Engagement works to make their time at Catholic University of America both memorable and impactful.