Gregorio Miranda-Rivas chose IU South Bend for practical reasons, but after completing his freshman year, he found a lot more reasons to champion his choice. “IU South Bend is a very accepting campus,” he said. “I feel that from the faculty and staff, student organizations and clubs, and my campus job.”
As self-pay student, Gregorio works sixteen hours a week at the Gateway Center, IU South Bend’s information hub in the Administration Building, to offset the cost of his tuition. “I love my job,” he said. “I get to interact with a lot of people, and help answer their questions. I’m making a difference.”
He also serves as a translator for Latino families when they visit the campus, when family members are not fluent in English. “I try to help them understand more about IU South Bend -the campus culture, housing, admissions, and financial aid and tuition,” he explained. “I translate the application process, too. I understand what they are going through as they try to navigate through the college system for the first time.”
Gregorio is taking full advantage of the many opportunities for students at IU South Bend to get involved in clubs and organizations. He oversees social media and promotes events for the Latino Student Union, the Black Student Union, and the Civil Rights and Social Justice Club. “It’s been a great way for me to meet people who have the same goals and interests as me,” he said.
After graduating from Elkhart Memorial High School, Miranda-Rivas attended IU South Bend’s Leadership Academy, a summer program for 21st Century Scholars and minorities that prepares the incoming-freshmen for the rigors of college academics. “It helped me acclimate to college, and it taught me how to present myself as an adult,” he said. “I was not as active in high school, but I want to be a part of this campus and engage in what’s going on here.”
When he’s not working or participating in club functions, Gregorio studies. He especially likes his science labs. “I enjoy working with my hands, and putting the concepts I learn in class into action,” he explained. The bio-chemistry major has plans to go to medical school after he completes his undergraduate degree at IU South Bend.