Latino Alumni Network returns to UCSC

Alumni Guadalupe Sanchez and Amaris Trujillo announced as new Co-Chairs

From left to right: Guadalupe Sanchez (Crown ’13, film and digital media) and Amaris Trujillo (Cowell ’22, legal studies and psychology, minor Latin American and Latino studies)

The Latino Alumni Network—an alumni organization designed to connect the UCSC Latinx community—is ready to make its comeback as a hub for Latinx alumni under the direction of new Co-Chairs Guadalupe Sanchez and Amaris Trujillo.

Fueled by fresh ideas and a passion for reconnecting with their alma mater, fellow alums, and current students, the two alumni are excited to jumpstart LAN and its potential for lasting impact. 

“We’re going to be able to serve all of the communities that will pass through this organization, whether it’s other alumni, current students, or prospective students,” Sanchez said. “I’m excited to be a part of this experience alongside Amaris.”

Associate Director of Alumni Diversity Programs Monica Armstrong is thrilled to announce Sanchez and Trujillo as the program’s new Co-Chairs.

“Amaris and Guadalupe are perfect for the job,” Armstrong said. “Their goals will propel the Latino Alumni Network forward. We’re grateful to have such inspirational alumni spearheading the revival of the Latino Alumni Network at UCSC.” 

The Co-chairs emphasize that they want LAN to become a space for Latinx alumni and students to build community and find resources. They hope the organization will provide professional development events, a mentorship program with Latinx alumni and undergraduate students, and a series of guest speaker events highlighting Latinx alumni.

“Our community faces many obstacles when navigating higher education and the professional workforce,” Trujillo said. “So I hope that with LAN’s presence, we can contribute positively, whether that’s through providing resources or supporting the ones currently in place, advocating for change, or simply creating a space for us to find community.”

Guadalupe Sanchez 

As a student, Sanchez interned with El Centro, the Chicanx/Latinx resource center at UCSC. She said being with a community of other Latinx students and mentors made her feel more at home on campus. 

“Being a part of El Centro was very impactful for me because I was able to find my community within UC Santa Cruz,” Sanchez said. “When I first started at UCSC, I felt very alienated and like nobody looked like me. When I found all these people with similar experiences, it was life-changing, and I felt comfortable. It felt like the campus was actually catering to me.”

In addition to interning with El Centro, Sanchez worked in the admissions office as a frontline student advisor all four years at UCSC. She said that her experience working with admissions motivated her to pursue a career in higher education, specifically in admissions work. Sanchez graduated from UCSC in 2013 with a BA in film and digital media.

After working with the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association  for two years post-graduation, Sanchez landed her first role in admissions at the University of Texas, San Antonio. She then served  as the Assistant Director of Multicultural Recruitment  for Radford University in  Virginia, where she worked with many Hispanic and Latino students in their pursuit of higher education. 

Currently, Sanchez works as an Outreach Specialist for UC Scout, a University of California program that offers A-G approved and AP level courses and curricula for high school students. In her role, Sanchez collaborates closely with school districts across California to provide access to high quality courses that support students with increasing A-G completion, thereby enhancing their eligibility for admissions to both the California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) systems. Sanchez strives to provide students with the necessary resources and opportunities to excel academically and reach their educational goals.  

Sanchez is excited to further reconnect with her alma mater as a LAN Co-chair and support the Latinx alumni community, as well as, prospective and current students. 

“Having a network to guide you through your young professional career is really valuable,” Sanchez said. “On top of supporting alumni, one of the things we want to do with LAN is support students on campus and ensure that they have a successful college experience.”

Amaris Trujillo

Amaris’s passion for volunteerism motivated her to take on the role of LAN Co-Chair. 

As a student at UCSC, Trujillo was the Co-President of Slug Shelter, a student-led organization focused on assisting the homeless student population in Santa Cruz, and was a mentor through the UCSC Slug Mentor Network. 

She also joined the First-Generation Initiative, and became a program coordinator. She worked closely with first-generation college students by guiding them to resources and highlighting the stories of the first-gen community at UCSC. She said one of her proudest moments was organizing the first UC System-wide First-Generation College Student Conference.

“As a first-generation college student, I have come to appreciate the variety of resources and experiences UC Santa Cruz has had to offer me. My first quarter at UCSC was difficult as I often questioned my abilities and place in higher education as the first in my family to attend college. It wasn’t until I started attending meetings at the UCSC First Generation Initiative that I found confidence and a sense of community.” 

In her final year at UCSC, Trujillo became a Human Rights Investigator for the UCSC Investigations Lab, where she investigated human rights violations in Latin America for non-government organizations. 

Trujillo graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2022 with BA’s in legal studies and psychology and a minor in Latin American and Latino studies. Earlier this year, she began working as a Legal Clerk at the San Joaquin County Superior Court’s Criminal Department. 

“Although my future plans for my career have many possibilities, I know that I will continue to advocate for what I believe is right and help others in any position that I acquire.”

She says her education from UCSC immensely helped her pursue her career path. 

“I had become close with faculty members, staff, and alumni who have, in one way or another, supported me in my career path, from writing letters of recommendation and being a reference on a job application to being a mentor when times were uncertain. All in all, my experiences at UCSC have positively impacted my career path for many years to come.”

She hopes that in addition to serving the Latinx community, LAN will become a space for first-generation students to feel at home at UCSC.

“I believe that having a strong Latinx alumni network at UCSC symbolizes the capabilities of what we can achieve as a community and, most importantly, to utilize the network to uplift Latinx undergraduates through our experiences in navigating higher education and the workforce. During my four years at UCSC, I have been the most impacted by the advice, testimonies, and mentorship from UCSC alumni.” 

Stay tuned for more information on upcoming LAN events.