Meet Alumni Leadership Committee Member, Alex Dest

“I think what sets the LMP apart is that it works with both local communities and those abroad to facilitate dialogue around Latinos’ experiences and to make real change.”

The Latino Migration Project (LMP) is pleased to announce the creation of a new alumni leadership committee that will help ensure the legacy of LMP’s work in the coming years. Committee members will advise and coordinate with the LMP team on communication, upcoming events, and growth goals.

We are so delighted to introduce founding member, Alex Dest.

Q: Alex, thank you so much for joining us! First, please tell us more about yourself.
A: Hi everyone! In 2014, I graduated from UNC with a dual BA in Latin American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. While at UNC, I was a mentor for SLI, volunteered at El Pueblo, and was part of the Latino Migration Project’s summer internship. After graduation, I started working at El Pueblo where I coordinate a sexual health education program for Latino teens.

Q: Tell us more about what brought you to the Latino Migration Project. How did the experience impact you?
A: What attracted me to the program was the opportunity to see another side of immigration. Before volunteering with the LMP, my experience with immigration had mainly been limited to the work I did with Latinos at a local level in North Carolina. One of the most important things that I came away with at the end of the summer was a better understanding of the struggles and hardships faced by those in these communities who don’t emigrate —a story that I don’t think we hear very often.

Q: What do you tell your friends when they ask you about your experiences in Guanajuato? What’s your favorite memory?
A: I usually tell people that my summer in Guanajuato was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I’ve had. Living in such an isolated, rural community was a big adjustment for me, but getting to work with the youth and hearing the stories of other community members really made the experience worthwhile. I also love sharing the pictures I took while I was in Guanajuato because they show a way of life that is so difficult to portray with just words.

Probably one of my favorite memories was coming home late every night from the school to drink hot chocolate and eat sweet bread with my host mom. It was such a simple and comforting way to end the day and quite a few of our late night conversations left a significant impression on me.

Q: What does the Latino Migration Project mean to you? Why should others care or get involved?
A: My internship with the Latino Migration Project was such an important experience for me and really informs the work that I continue to do. I think what sets the LMP apart is that it works with both local communities and those abroad to facilitate dialogue around Latinos’ experiences and to make real change.

Q: When you’re not in the office, what do you enjoy doing?
In my free time, I really enjoy making pottery. It’s a hobby I picked up recently, so there’s still quite a bit of mess-ups, but it’s really nice to have a creative outlet. Plus, the pieces that aren’t horrible make good gifts!

Thank you, Alex! We’re looking forward to a great year!

Meet Alumni Leadership Committee Member, Alex Dest