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El Centro Chicano y Latino is open Mon - Fri, 10am - 5pm, up through Friday, June 13th. 

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Letter of Support for El Centro and director Elvira Prieto from 2017 Alum

"I discovered a community that was made to authentically nurture and uplift students not only like those of my specific background, but all who were in pursuit of belonging."

I hold the deepest gratitude for the invaluable support that the El Centro provided me during my time at Stanford. Centro and Elvira's unwavering commitment to fostering a community and providing resources was instrumental in shaping mine and so many others' academic journeys and personal growth.

When I first arrived at Stanford, I was filled with excitement and anticipation, but I also felt a profound sense of unfamiliarity and isolation. As an incoming student, I was in search of a place that would serve as a home away from home, a place where I could find solace, guidance, and connections. It was at this critical juncture that I discovered a community that was made to authentically nurture and uplift students not only like those of my specific background, but all who were in pursuit of belonging.

One of the pillars of community is the embodiment of genuine care and dedication -- something present in all professional staff at Centro, and something that Elvira demonstrates through her practice and presence.

Working at Centro during my 4 years at Stanford, I can speak to the direct experience I had in how these values were passed on to student staff. El Centro's programs and events were designed to embrace and showcase the rich tapestry of cultures, experiences, and perspectives within our community. Through cultural events, workshops, and dialogues, we brought to life the virtues of El Centro. It was a space to come together.

As I reflect upon my journey at Stanford, it's clear that the El Centro and Elvira were indispensable catalysts for my growth. They provided me with a sense of guidance that not only bolstered my success but also transformed me into a more compassionate, resilient, and socially conscious individual. The two uplift the values that Stanford as an institution wants to instill in its students, and I'm forever grateful for their foundational role in my trajectory.

This unwavering support left an indelible impact on my life. Elvira is a leader whom I could look to, trust, and see as a role model. More than that, her direct experience as an alumna gives her a perspective to lead El Centro in a way that only she could. The richness of her life experience and personal journey is one that should continue to impact students the way it did my peers and I. She served as a connector and motivator to all students. Elvira's integrity, resilience, and empathy stand out as qualities that I can point to that differentiate her as a leader. She's committed to those around her and leads by example, inspiring a vision for the future and helping students live into their fullest potential.

I will forever cherish Elvira, El Centro, and what they provided me during my time at Stanford. I wouldn't be where I am without either of them.

Carlos Aguilar, Class of 2017

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