I first walked onto this campus in 2016 as a transfer student from San Jose State who wanted to study journalism. This, though, however was just a vague explanation that I would tell all the new people around me.
In 2016, I couldn’t tell you that I was a first generation college student, queer, transgender, person of color.
Living authentically in my identity was put on the back burner until I could feel safe in my new environment. In 2017, we saw the most violent and deadly year for transgender people with 28 deaths, a majority being black trans women people of color. I needed a sense of security before I could open up and share my experiences with the people around me.
Now, I’m 10 weeks away from walking the graduation stage. I’m THIS close to being the proud parent of a journalism degree with a focus in public relations and a minor in photography.
Through my public relations classes, I have learned ways to amplify the voices of marginalized communities, like my own. I fought and rose through my classes with a fire for success. Now, I have the privilege of writing to you as the social media director for the highly competitive, Tehama Group Communications.
I can now reflect on my experience and see how much I have grown within my own identity. I’ve become, what I would consider, a successful student and I’m on my way to being a change agent.
I like the Metropolitan Group’s concept of a change agent and the power of voice:
“Voice is a critical catalyst for social change.”
I strive to be a change agent. I want to use my skills, voice and power to help empower marginalized communities and their members.
As I move that tassel from right to left, I will hunt to find my place in the public relations field where I can make a direct difference to the people I wish to serve.
by Jae Siqueiros
Photos by Jae Siqueiros