Student: Nicole Camacho
Major: Advertising / Public Relations
On a normal basis, I’m usually going deaf from my huge, crazy, and loud Filipino-American family in the San Francisco Bay Area. There’s so many of us, that it’s hard not to miss them and the fun chaos while I’m in Chicago. Being second generation, the distance is worth it - knowing that I’m getting an amazing education leading hopefully to a successful career in Advertising. I’d like to describe myself as adventurous, because I’m the first to attend college out-of-state and pursue a non-nursing/non-engineering/non-medical major.
Honestly, I worry to much about my destination and lose sight of living in the present. Obviously, I’m en route to my senior year and graduation. I can’t say where I’m going after that, because I don’t know yet. To be honest, I’m still trying to figure out my destination but loving where I’m at so far! This is my first summer in Chicago, despite being here for 3 years already. I’m also interning for Specific Media – my first internship associated with my advertising major!
My normal week consists of Kapwa cultural dance practices, Council of Pan Asian American (COPAA) meetings and events, and Sunday 9pm Mass to serve as a Eucharistic Minister. COPAA is my main involvement on campus, as I will be serving as President for the 2015-2016 school year. Asian and cultural groups have been a big part of my Loyola experience, but I am also a member of other groups as well like Campus Ministry, Filipino CLC, and SAGA Advisory Board.
It’s not really a “what” but a “who.” The people really make my Loyola experience – especially my mentors. I had my fair share of freak outs about entering the adult world after graduation and my mentors were there during those moments. They not only care about me as a student who will graduate from Loyola, but they also care for me as a young woman with ups, downs, and big dreams. They’ve cheered for all of my accomplishments, but also supported me in my many losses and pushed me to reach and go beyond my full potential.
Becoming a part of different student organizations has helped me serve the Loyola community. Extra-curricular activities and student organization-hosted events are a big part of campus life and my Loyola experience. So my involvement with SAGA’s Advisory Board and COPAA allows ideas come to life. There’s so much each person wants to accomplish in college, and it’s really rewarding to be a part of that process. In addition, it’s a great way to celebrate the different initiatives and passions of students. There’s so much diversity, and I love being able to showcase that on campus.
During my previous years on COPAA’s Committee and Executive board, I started a new tradition. As a part of Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, it’s great to celebrate the past – where we came from and what has shaped us. However, we should also acknowledge our present and make positive moves towards the future. Therefore, COPAA began fundraising for non-profits of our choosing. When I first introduced this, we fundraised for Asian Human Services (AHS) – a local non-profit. We raise money towards new reading books for the K-8 after school tutoring program. I previously used to work for AHS, and I know firsthand how important the books are to the kids and their education; because they came from ESL homes.
Justice is ensuring that different identities are accurately represented. I went into college wanting to tell stories that empower minorities and break stereotypes. Stereotypes are assumptions, in my book. When people assume, they lack to dig a little deeper to actually find the truth. Sometimes all we need to do is go beyond the surface level. I could go on and on, and relate this to several social justice issues. But think of it as an ocean. From the shore, you can see the waves crashing and the sunlight sparkling on the water. When you actually dive in, you see a whole new world – fishes, shells, coral reefs, sunken ships and so much more.
A Jesuit education has been a part of my life since high school. I attended St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco. When I was applying to colleges, I knew I wanted to continue my Jesuit education by attending a Jesuit university. I appreciate how my faith is incorporated into my studies. Most importantly, I value how my Jesuit education changed how I view the world. The world isn’t black or white – it’s grey; it’s a spectrum. I’ve learned to critically think and recognize different perspectives on issues. A Jesuit education has taught me to live in a world filled with differences, but also respect the viewpoints of others. In addition, my grandfather attended Ateneo, the Jesuit university in the Philippines. He sacrificed so much to go to school, which later turned into the many opportunities I have now. So my Jesuit education keeps me connected to him after his passing during my junior year of high school.
My favorite place in Chicago is Madonna de la Strada, so it isn’t surprising that the “Echo Spot” is the favorite spot on campus. I can sit and enjoy the views of campus and of Lake Michigan. Plus the “Echo Spot” is an awesome architectural wonder. Watching light reflect off the water and hearing the waves hit the rocks, I’m filled with an overwhelming sense of calm – especially walking to and from Sunday 9pm masses. Here is where I can find peace. Not always during the winter, because I’ve slipped a couple times! California problems – I’m not used to real winters.
Never live life out of fear. If you let fear dictate what direction you go in, you aren’t really living a life at all. If you stay in your comfort zone, you’ll never know what your true potential is. So take that class you’ve always wanted to try, or pick a major that your parents may dislike. This doesn’t just apply to school either! Try that new item, which name you can’t pronounce! Apply for that internship even if you don’t think you’ll get it. Ask out the cute guy or girl (whatever floats your boat) who you’ve been eyeing even if they might say no. You’ll never know until you try!