Prairie Stars on The Move: Victor Estrada
Victor Estrada is the prime example of giving back to every community he is a member of, both on campus and at home. He has founded several organizations that help others as well as being a member of many others. The common goal of every organization he is in is helping the community around him.
In his hometown of Palatine, Victor has had involvement in many community organizations. These include his church and his school. At his church, the Mission SanJuan Diego, Victor was a junior leader for ECOS. This was a retreat for children in the church who went through confirmation. Later on, he took over a mentor position at the church and became an on site director. This meant he took care logistics such as food, scheduling, and lodging. Through the church, he also helped his mom as an advocate for the pastoral immigration committee. This organization helps immigrants in the area of getting legal information and help.
At his former high school, Victor served as an intern for the counselor. In this role, he presented and executed ideas. He organized a symposium for first generation students and parents to be educated on how to benefit from financial aid for college. More than 450 people showed up the first year, and it is now an annual event. Another project he worked on was a celebration of Cinco de Mayo. Instead of being a drinking holiday, he organized a cultural festival with vendors, dancers, and music that celebrated the history surrounding the battle that was fought on May 5, 1862.
Victor is involved with the National Hispanic Institute. This organization helps raise leaders within the Latino community. Victor helps students see themselves as cultural and intellectual assets. He guides students and recognizes their willingness to work within teams rather than alone. He helps students become develop better leadership skills such as teamwork, professionalism, and public speaking.
However, Victor has not limited his participation to his hometown. He is also active in many organizations on campus at UIS. He is involved with the Organization of Latin American Students, Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Incorporated, and Necessary Steps.
The Organization of Latin American Students is one of the organizations on campus dedicated to promoting Latin American culture and providing students with a place to learn about Latin culture and be themselves in a diverse campus environment. Victor is currently a member of OLAS, and used to be treasurer. As treasurer, he would handle the budget and organize fundraisers. Victor has stated that his time in OLAS has helped him become a better leader both within the organization and outside of it.
Victor used to be the treasurer and is currently the Vice President of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Incorporated. He said that he knew fairly quickly after getting on campus as a freshman that he would become involved with the fraternity since he had several friends already in it and the morals and values of the fraternity matched those that his parents taught him growing up. He said that his involvement in the fraternity has allowed him to be more connected to the Springfield community through volunteer events around the city.
Few people have been as involved as Victor Estrada. His involvement both on and off campus is incredible in both volume and quality. When he sees an issue that he cares about, he does not ignore it.
Instead he joins an organization that is addressing the issue, or forms a new one. Doing this ensures that issues are taken care of instead of ignored.