Multicultural and Gender Studies

Kassandra Garcia and her Experience as a CHLX Major

Kassandra Garcia is completing her last semester at California State University Chico online; she’s majoring in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting as well as a second major in Intersectional in Chicanx Latinx studies and a minor in diversity studies.  

Growing up with both Spanish and English as her first languages and being a Mexican American, reading and writing were Garcia’s low points. She recalls her sophomore year of high school when her teacher told her she was reading at a 4th grade reading level. She felt embarrassed and set out to avoid reading and writing as much as possible.

Coming into college she continued the mindset of hating any reading and writing, she recalls going to her CHLX studies professor, Ayde Enríquez-Loya,and sharing her frustration for an upcoming essay. Her professor understood her frustration and told her that Mexicans are put down for their style of writing.

 “We just have a different style of writing that gets under appreciated,” Garcia said. “I remember after taking that class I was just like, I'm going to minor in it. This is it. This is the minor that I want to do.”

“I went from hating reading and writing to loving it.”

During her third year at Chico state Garcia had heard the news that Chicanx/Latinx studies would become a major. She felt like she was too late to make it one of her majors and hesitated to make the leap. It wasn’t until she gave Dr. Sara E. Cooper a visit and shared her passion for CHLX.\

“I left that office with my paper to declare my major in CHLX studies,” Garcia said. “Originally I was just going for business but it’s those unexpected things that happen in life that take you through a different route.”

Dr. Cooper is the Associate Chair of the Multicultural and Gender Studies Department  (MCGS) and remembers Garcia from one of her Latinx Film classes. Dr. Cooper shared that Garcia was a very attentive student but wouldn’t speak up unless being called on. She remembers Garcia coming into her office a year later. 

I asked Kassandra what was important to her, what was one injustice in the world that she would like to help make better. She said emphatically that she wanted more than anything to work within her community, to make a difference for the next generation.” Dr. Cooper said. “I responded that with her passion she could make a strong leader and role model, and that she should learn all she could about Chicanx/Latinx issues and social movements.”      

The CHLX studies major will challenge you in ways that you least expect it. You get a closer look and dive into the injustices and oppressions within the CHLX community but at the same time you will get a greater sense of the unity, power and pride the CHLX community has to offer.

Garcia described the resilience, and fierce empowerment of the community a key to her success in college .

“It gave me the drive to stay in college because we are the future and we need Latinx and Chicanx people in higher fields.” she said. 

Garcia encourages others to take a CHLX course and learn more about a part of history that isn’t in the history books we read in high school. As well as essential classes that prepare you for a more diverse and inclusive career environment. Most careers would benefit from an employee with the knowledge on diversity. 

“Having that diverse mindset and bringing that into a job field would make a better society in itself,” Garcia said. “Bringing in those different perspectives can also bring inclusivity into a job field.”

After graduating Garcia plans to get her Masters Degree in Chicanx/Latinx studies and hopes to have an impact within the Education System by inspiring students with CHLX studies. She also plans to volunteer in different non-profit organizations that focus on underrepresented communities. 

Garcia expressed her gratitude towards all the CHLX professors that have helped her grow and better herself.