Elvin Merino-Lopez is an outstanding model civic leader who has engaged his fellow students at Bunker Hill Community College students in multiple ways: as a Service Leader who has led over 15 one-time volunteer events through the Office of Community Engagement; and as a New Student Orientation Leader and a Peer Mentor with the Office of Learning Communities who has mentored close to 300 student peers. In all these commitments, Elvin inspires his peers to live out the values of social justice as they work together to make our communities stronger, and motivates other students to persist and succeed by sharing his personal stories. Elvin's leadership involvements have all truly focused on being an agent of change to promote access, equity, and success for all students, including and most especially first-generation and underprivileged college students.
I am a first generation college student and I understand that a person's influence can affect our lives greatly. I was influenced by my mother to go college and to always have an open mind and embrace new challenges in a positive way. At BHCC, I had the opportunity to volunteer and get involved in the community. I feel very strongly about volunteering because I view volunteering as a learning experience that allows people to try something new, meet new people, and have a better understanding of how I can make a positive change in my community. I have been an active volunteer for 2 years now and I have gained so much from volunteering that has changed my life. I was able to become a mentor at Bunker Hill and that gives me the unique opportunity to influence new students to get in involved in the community and find their passion. I believe a mentor's main job is to develop new leaders who in time will inspire other students to become leaders themselves. I hope the skills I've gained through being involved in my community will help me bring a positive change to other people.