All successful institutions and organizations need strong dynamic leaders at every level. Heidi Pena Ortiz, a sophomore at Adelphi University, is just such a leader. The leadership that Heidi has displayed has been invaluable to the Adelphi community. The focus of her activities has been around issues of equity, social justice, and immigration. For instance, she is not only the founding president of the Latino/a Student Association, she is on the executive board of Females of Color United for Success, and she serves as the vice president of the Levermore Global Scholars, a program on campus that promotes global awareness and social change. Like so many good leaders, Heidi identifies a problem, organizes stake holders, and works across boundaries.
By the doors of the first school where I went when my family officially settled in the United States, there was a quote that read "Be the change you wish to see in the world". The quote by Mahatma Gandhi resonated within me. Growing up in an underprivileged neighborhood, I became dedicated to helping my community prosper. In college, I joined the Levermore Global Scholars Scholars Program, which allowed me to take part in community services like Herstory and much more.Inspired to cause change closer to my collegiate home, I founded the Latino/a Student Association (LSA) and currently serve as its president. LSA is the diversity club on campus that represents the Latino/a demographic. I have become an advocate for social and racial justice on my campus by leading campus wide initiatives dedicated to such issues as "Adelphi in Solidarity with Mizzou" and "Long Island Students for Educational Equity" in support of lobbying for the Dream Act. Helping my fellow human beings is the main goal of my work. It is what I am dedicated to accomplishing in life.