Multicultural and Gender Studies

Kimberly Gomez

Change the World Award

Hello! My name is Kimberly Gomez and I will be graduating this semester with double majors in Women's Studies and Psychology. I am honored and grateful to be one of the recipients of this year's Change the World award.

Originally from Long Beach, CA, I came to Chico State with the intention of holding one major. I met Professor Mahlis in my second semester U-Course class. Her curriculum challenged me to have a broader perspective of humanity. Soon after, I began taking more courses offered by the Multicultural Gender Studies (MCGS) department. Although my passion grew, I did not consider adding the Women's Studies major because I thought I would fall behind. As college students we are bred to fulfill our requirements in four years. I know that this is not the case for many students in higher education.

When I met with Ana Flores in spring semester of 2018, my junior year, she encouraged me to consider double majoring. The very idea frightened but enticed me. I soon added the Women's Studies major and double minors of Multicultural Studies and Women's Studies. If I was going to stay an extra year, why not pursue more of the course topics that interest me?

Why am I mentioning this? I had to recognize that the length of my studies did not determine my passion nor determination. I want to encourage the current and future students who are considering pursuing their studies of choice. It is okay to take your time. Your success is not measured in time, it is measured by your intentions and failures. For me, it took me three years to allow myself the freedom to choose what I wanted to do.

I have connected with wonderful professors, organizations, peers, and with myself. The title of this award may be seen as something that needs to take global effect but I know that I have made progress in my own world. I am determined to put myself in positions of leadership because I saw my predecessors using their voice and power to help their community.

To those reading this, challenge yourself with new ideas, opinions, and thoughts. Confront the very thoughts that try to limit your endeavors and be patient with yourself. Remember your roots and experiences. Lastly, you are allowed to say no and to recognize your feelings of burnout and fatigue. I understand it may be hard to reach out for help but I can tell you with sincerity that the MCGS faculty I've encountered have listened to me when I was struggling. I am thankful for each one of them because their willingness to help empowered me to be the type of person I want to be.

I never thought I would be given this prestigious award but to receive it means that my effort has been noticed. I thank those in my life who have supported and influenced me. We are only human and are doing the best we can. I am proud to be part of the cycle of change. Thank you. 

Portrait of Kimberly Gomez