Sergio Núñez-Xoconoxtle, a third year student at Middlebury College, is a student leader active in service organizations. These organizations collaborate with community members to break and/or reclaim stereotypes in order to secure fundamental human rights. For the past two years they have been active in Juntos, a student-migrant solidarity group that has striven to build community alliances with the migrant farmworker communities in Vermont. Additionally, Sergio is working with Community Friends as a coordinator, where they will be focusing on the program's new partnership with Juntos. Like Community Friends, Manos Unidas will provide the same opportunity for one-to-one mentoring relationships between Middlebury College students and youth from the community. The new program invites Latinx and/or Hispanic identifying individuals to explore notions of culture and identity together. Sergio's hope for the program is to have culturally empowering events for both mentors and mentees.
Since high school, I have been interested in nonprofit organizations whose focus was on education. As I was entering my senior year of high school, my interests developed into aiding the prominent immigrant community of Austin, TX. This led me to volunteer as an ESL assistant for Foundation Communities, which is a local nonprofit that empowers families and kids towards self-sufficiency. In addition, this is my second year participating with Juntos [a migrant-student solidarity group], and my second semester serving on the board. As a board member, we have maintained a welcoming space for the migrant community throughout the academic year. Through Juntos, I have learned the importance of advocacy through constant dialogue with community members. My view on the work of service organizations has changed from wanting to "help" others, to collaborating with marginalized communities towards self-sufficiency.