Aurelia Gonzalez

Major:  Biology
Hometown:  Hemet, CA
Class:  Junior
Program Position: Facilitator, Freshmen Leadership Opportunity (FLO)

Aurelia heard a presentation in her University 101 class from a very enthusiastic student who spoke highly of the Associated Students and its programs. He emphasized the diversity of programs, the leadership opportunities, and their collaborative nature. That student ended up being her mentor for a year with the Freshmen Leadership Opportunity program. FLO provided a structure for her to pursue her own personal growth and Aurelia eagerly took advantage of all opportunities it offered. As part of the program, she shadowed the commissioner of Multicultural Affairs and the council. These connections plus other AS collaborations provided her with valuable exposure to a diverse group of people.

Aurelia became a resident advisor her sophomore year, but continued to help with the FLO program on an informal basis. She kept being drawn back, so now as a junior, she is a FLO Facilitator. “Ryan was such a great mentor me, and I wanted to be that kind of inspiration for someone else.” The program has five facilitators who each lead a group of ten freshmen. “We identify the needs of our first year students and try to develop a curriculum that benefits them personally and academically while encouraging them to pursue leadership roles. We provide mentoring, resources, and tools to pave the way for them to continue their growth.” The students are given the freedom to organize and pursue activities that interest them while the facilitators suggest seminars, retreats, and workshops that are available to enhance their development. “I personally encourage students to speak out about what their concerns are and to explore ideas to solve these issues. I want them to live up to their fullest potential.” Aurelia relishes her role as a mentor. She strives to be genuine, approachable, and trustworthy so her students will look up to her. And most importantly, Aurelia has a consistent message for her students: “Outline who you are and what you want to become. Find yourself and own it!”

“Helping others is a passion in my life. I want to better myself and my environment.” Aurelia clearly demonstrates those values now and plans to continue in that vein beyond her Chico State experience. She may go to graduate school to engage in some type of field research, but her first stop will be the Peace Corps.

In Aurelia’s words:
“I learn something new every day. I reflect on the personality and work ethic I bring to FLO as well as how I convey my leadership lessons. My job has made be better prepared and organized and not afraid to voice my opinion.”