Between classes and studying for finals, Isis Ilias stops by the Centro Cultural César Chávez to visit with friends. Isis works at El Centro as an office assistant but also just enjoys coming in to hang out. “It’s like my second home,” she says.
When Isis arrived at Oregon State as a freshman she had no idea what to expect. “I actually hadn’t planned on going to college,” she admits. It wasn’t until she was encouraged by her Big Sister from the Big Brothers Big Sisters program that she applied and was accepted.
Isis spent her first weeks on campus exploring her new home and was surprised by the many opportunities to get involved. “I attended as many events as I could and just started signing up wherever they needed volunteers,” she says. “There is just so much going on here!”
Realizing that she couldn’t do it all, Isis narrowed her commitments down to a couple of groups. As the Political Action Co-Chair for MEChA, Isis helps organize events to raise awareness about access to education for Chicanos. As a member of the ASOSU’s Disabled Student Affairs Task Force she works to advocate for students with disabilities. She also started the Capoeria Club, with the intention of teaching others about Capoeria (Brazilian martial arts).
Isis plans to tell her younger brother and sister about the opportunities she’s had during her first year at OSU. “I hope it encourages them to also consider attending college,” she says.