Monday, July 14, 2014

1500+ students, 20 leaders, 9 sessions, 5 weeks, 1 place: SLU

SLU101 has given me one of the best summer of my life! It was an amazing experience to be able to get to know the incoming First-Year students and their families, to make a connection with them, and to show them how SLU has changed my life in just two years. I cannot wait to see many of you next year!

New Billikens, get excited for the best four years of your life! Your new home is waiting for you. Welcome to this great family!

-Camilo-

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

During my first semester at SLU, I decided to try out for SLU Shakti, a Bollywood Fusion dance team on campus. I joined it with the idea of trying something completely new in my life, but I never expected it to turn out in the way it did for me. I put myself in a situation in which I was not only challenged to learn a new style of dancing, but I was also required to learn more things about a culture very different from mine. Without even realizing, those members who were strangers to me at the beginning, became part of a unique group that I can now call my family, my Shakti family. Shakti means power, and I have been able to see how the power of hard work and teamwork has brought us far beyond our expectations. In two years, we have grown so much as a team, and I never stop being amazed by how many great things we can accomplish together.

Last weekend, during our Easter Break, we went to San Francisco, CA, to compete in Bollywood America, the national competition for Bollywood Fusion teams around the country and Canada. After winning one of the regional competitions, Tufaan Entertainment in Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, we got our first bid ever for nationals. It was a dream come true to be able to share the stage with the best teams from all over the country. Overall, it was a fun and rewarding experience, a time in which I was able to see all our efforts coming together. Performing was one of my greatest moments so far, it was an indescribable feeling to be on stage one more time with a team that was ready to give it all out.

It will be hard to see many of the senior members graduate, including our three captains from the past two years. They put all their aspirations, time, creativity, and energy into this project that became a reality for them.  I feel really grateful for every moment I have spent with them, and with every single member of the team. I am glad to say that I have made some of my best memories during my journey at SLU from various Shakti experiences. I cannot wait to see what else is out there for us!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Seeking for my greater purpose

Hola everyone! My name is Camilo, and I am so excited to welcome you to my amazing journey as a Billiken at Saint Louis University! I came all the way from Managua, Nicaragua, and am currently a sophomore pursuing a major in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Biomedical Engineering. I want to start by introducing myself, and let you know more about my on-campus involvements and my experiences so far at SLU!

I am part of the Micah Program, which is one of the Learning Communities we have on campus. It is based on faith and social justice, and it has been a great experience and one of the best decisions I have made since I came to college. Through this program I started doing continuous service at a tutoring program called Firm Foundations. Here I tutor children from refugee families in the US, and it has been an amazing experience. I am also a member of SLU Shakti, a Bollywood Fusion Dance Team on campus. We compete at different universities around the country and this weekend we are actually going to nationals, which will be taking place in San Francisco, CA. In addition, I am a member of the Diversity Leadership Cabinet (DLC) on campus, in which we address different issues related to diversity, inclusion, and social justice. Moreover, I will be a morale captain in Dance Marathon, for which we have an amazing goal to fundraise 250K for the kids! Finally, I am a University Ambassador, so I work in the office of Admission. It is the greatest job ever for many reasons, one of them being that I get the chance of be a tour guide for many of you that come and visit the university. 

I came to Saint Louis University because after my first visit I knew this was the community that I wanted to be part of. The friendliness and openness I received since the beginning has made my transition and experience unique and unforgettable. The Jesuit education has been a huge part of my life, so I decided to continue allowing myself to grow not only in the academic aspect of the human being, but also in mind, body, and soul. I wanted to go to a college that would challenge me in different ways, allowing me to give the best of myself in every experience. I was able to find an awesome engineering program, incredible service opportunities, and the chance to be involved on campus in many things that I am passionate about. I can say that I was called to be a Billiken, and I wouldn’t change my experience so far for anything. I found a second home away from my country, a place in which I would truly become a man for and with others. This is a place that students not only come for a purpose, but for a higher purpose. I look forward to finding this greater purpose during my time at SLU.

-Camilo-