Mayra Gonzalez

Major: Undeclared
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Class: Freshman
Program Position: Member | Freshman Leadership Opportunity (FLO)

How did you first get connected with Freshman Leadership Opportunity (FLO)?
During welcome week, I attended a program called LeadCat. I was introduced to FLO through this program and past members of FLO. I also received a brochure describing FLO and later went to introduce myself to the coordinator of this program, Katie Finney. I felt a connection with her and the program, and I found myself wanting to get involved with FLO.

How would you describe your role with FLO?
As a participant in FLO I take advantage of the many networking opportunities available to me. For instance, I utilize my free time to be in the Wildcat Leadership Center to meet many of the student leaders who work there. I work on building professional relationships and friendships with student leaders on campus to be more familiar with opportunities other than FLO that are available to students.

What does working at FLO do for you personally, professionally, or academically?
Being involved with FLO has definitely impacted me in all of these three ways. FLO has influenced me personally by showing me how to be more inclusive and aware of my own choices during the first year of my college experience. I was taught to work with resources that are provided to students on campus. FLO introduced me to development opportunities by providing internship placements on campus, and training for job interviews, teamwork development, time management and budgeting. FLO is an outstanding way for Chico State freshman to network with other students, be mentored by upperclassmen and build relationships and connections with university faculty and staff.

What do YOU hope to bring to the table in your role at FLO?
I hope to bring diversity and inclusivity to FLO because I feel it is important for students with diverse backgrounds to feel supported in a community in which they can relate to. As a first generation and low income Latina student, I feel like I am aware of the daily struggles that many students experience on and off campus. I understand the importance of inclusivity and representation of people of color in higher education and being able to connect with their respective communities in order to retain our students in an academic setting. Being able to work with newly admitted students who are learning how to navigate their own life in a new environment is a great space to begin to address the diverse community here on campus.

What are your career plans and how does your role with FLO better prepare you for that path?
My career plans after graduating from Chico State are still unclear to me. I am currently undeclared but I am interested in biology or social studies. FLO prepares me for any career job I will make in the near future. I have developed leadership skills, time management skills and professional skills such as how to prepare for an interview and how to plan a workshop. This program has definitely provided me with a skillset that will benefit me for the professional world.