Hispanic Latino Commission
Juan R. Jaimes Costilla is from Austin, TX. He attended Texas State University, San Marcos where he graduated Cum Laude as the top student in his cohort. Juan earned a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences with a minor in Business Administration. During his time at Texas State University, Juan was the founder and president of Student Community of Progressive Empowerment (SCOPE), an organization that guided undocumented students on issues related to resources and building a community to complete a college degree. During his senior year in college, Juan was accepted to the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan for a Master’s in Public Policy where he received the Rackham Merit Fellowship for superior academic achievement and a sustained commitment to advocacy. While at Michigan, Juan has served as a board representative for the U of M Latino Alumni Association and as a Rackham Professional Development leader. This past year, Juan has been the elected student representative on the Ford School’s Executive Committee, a small group of faculty who set policy and make critical decisions for the school. Juan completed his MPP internship as a public policy fellow with the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, where he contributed to a large extent in the organization’s work with the city of Detroit, MI. Lastly, Juan was voted by his classmates to deliver the graduate commencement speech for the Ford School. He looks forward to continuing the work he is passionate about and becoming someone influential in the Latino community.
Here is the link to Juan's commencement speech at the 2018 Ford School Commencement ceremony on April 28, 2018.
Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Guadalupe Gonzalez III, is currently a rising junior at Lansing Community College (LCC). Guadalupe is a proud product of Central Catholic High School, which he believes laid the foundation for his academic success. However, he credits his father, Guadalupe Gonzalez Jr., an Air Force veteran, for instilling in him a diligent work ethic, perseverance, and an appreciation for education. At LCC, Guadalupe has been very active on campus, where he was elected President of Phi Theta Kappa, selected to be a Student Senator on the Academic Senate, and a Student Representative for OneBookOneLCC. He also served as an intern for State Senator Curtis Hertel Jr., whom he considers a role model.
Guadalupe plans to matriculate to the University of Michigan, where he will study Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. His next two immediate goals are to attend Harvard Law School and to become a Judge Advocate General (JAG) in the United States Marine Corps. As one who has benefited from the help of others, Guadalupe seeks to give back to his community and pay it forward. Due to this desire, he would like to work for the American Civil Liberties Union (ALCU) and run for public office after he completes his service as a U.S. Marine.
Guadalupe moved to the state of Michigan three years ago after meeting his biological family for the first time. He attests that it was his decision to move from Texas to be closer to them as the defining moment that changed his life. In his free time, Guadalupe enjoys weight lifting, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family. His favorite teams are the University of Michigan football team, San Antonio Spurs, and Dallas Cowboys.
Growing up in a Mexican/Brazilian household my family has sacrificed a lot to make sure my education was a priority. This past spring, I became a Siena Heights University graduate majoring in chemistry and earning a Bachelor of Science degree, where I was the first on both sides of my family to graduate college. I owe all my success to my parents and brother. My mother, Gamila Alfaro, is a teacher’s assistant at TutorTime Learning Center and my father, Pete Alfaro, is a Cement Mason at Rudolph Libbe. My brother will begin his sophomore year at Siena Heights University this fall, majoring in Business.
During my duration at Siena, I was a scholar in the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program, Student Support Services chemistry tutor, Tri-Beta Xi Omega member, captain of the Siena Heights University Women’s Cross Country, Indoor, and Outdoor Track and Field teams (qualifying for Nationals in the marathon twice). I was featured in the Siena Heights University school commercial (aired on television) capturing my endless motivation, leadership skills, and successes on and off the track, and I was a volunteer at Prairie Elementary School to help children in need of extra attention in reading, writing, and math.
This year I was awarded the Hispanic Commission of Michigan Scholarship and the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Service Award. I was recently accepted into Wayne State University School of Medicine to receive my Ph.D. in Cancer Biology, being one of five students accepted into the program, where I received a full scholarship tuition, along with a stipend.
My goals for the future are to help find a cure for cancer and inspire others to pursue their dreams. Being a minority is not an excuse, it’s motivation. I want to thank my family, friends, McNair Program, and the Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan for all the love and support they have offered me.