Ian Prieto

So I came to University of Vermont to visit the campus when I was a high school senior, and I definitely wanted something different: I didn't want to stay in California and I wanted to go to a different part of the country, just kind of do my own thing for four years. Vermont was an option for me. Growing up in southern California, I kind of wanted to, you know, to see snow for the first time, to check out New York City and the Boston area, and Montreal and whatnot. Coming here, there isn't a lot in terms of racial diversity. But, we're all from small hometowns or big cities … there's religious diversity, gender diversity, and the university is definitely active, not only in trying to help and promote diversity, but it's definitely active in trying to educate others about it.

Social justice here is definitely one of our biggest … it's our base here at this university, and that's what we stand for. So a couple things I've been involved with at the University of Vermont throughout my four years here; I was part of Alianza Latina, which was this great organization where it was student run and we posted events such as "Comida para la Gente" and "Noche de Cultura" for UVM students and UVM faculty, staff and the Burlington community to come by and celebrate a night of culture. Another organization I was a part of was the Asian American Student Union. That definitely helps students who do identify as Asian to find a place or a hub to connect and be part of something and see that community that you might not necessarily have had when you left home. It definitely has helped me in terms of being at the university and just living life and having a fun time here.