Lorraine Garcia is a senior  Spanish major and Latin American and Latino Studies minor. She is an officer of the Spanish Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi. This Fall, she helped organize the second annual Ibero/Latino American Film festival.   

She grew up in a small town outside of Chicago named Carpentersville. She came to Illinois State because, as she put it, “I fell in love with the campus.” Lorraine transferred from Harper Community College to Illinois State, because  as a young mother, she also viewed the ISU community as a resource of support in raising her son, Jaden, who is now five years old.  

When Lorraine first saw that ISU offered Latino Studies classes, she was eager to enroll. She elaborated, “I love learning about where my ancestors came from, who I am, and the culture that comes with being part Mexican and part Salvadorian.” She perceived the program to be a good resource for her major.

Upon joining the program, she learned of the many opportunities available to students. For example, when Professor Toro-Morn approached her about becoming her teaching assistant, Lorraine admitted, “I didn’t know how much goes into preparing for a college level class and what it is like to be behind the scene.” She added, “Now I know, and I loved it. I loved assisting with class development, teaching a class, and helping other students learn. It [teaching] has now become my passion.”

Lorraine will cross the graduation stage in December of 2015—the first in her family to do so—making her part of the growing number of first generation Latino college students. Normal will still be her home as she plans to attend graduate school at Illinois State in Spring of 2016. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in Spanish, with the hope of someday being a university professor.