Hispanic Heritage Month Q&A: Alma Salazar
Riverside, Calif. (Oct. 2, 2023) – In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we are highlighting staff and faculty members who are a pivotal part of California Baptist University and embody what it means to Live Your Purpose every day.
Alma Salazar, director of Graduate Admissions, shares how she lives her purpose at CBU to inspire others to live theirs.
What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
This country is made up of so many immigrants, and Hispanics are the largest growing demographics in the county. Hispanic Heritage Month is a fun month to remember our original roots — where we came from and what positive contributions we have brought to this nation!
Why is it important that we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?
It is important to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month so the country and future generations understand the positive contributions and the beauty found in so many different cultures.
Can you share a bit about your own cultural identity?
I was born in Guatemala and immigrated to the States when I was 3 years old. I identify as an American with a Guatemalan heritage.
What role does your faith play in celebrating cultural heritage?
I love celebrating all cultures when possible. It helps me to remember that Christ offers forgiveness, healing and hope to people of all cultures. He forgave the worst sinners in his own culture, and He forgave those who professed Him and then denied Him. His work is remarkable.
Who has served as an inspiration to you?
Dad set the example! He came to this country legally with $500 in his pocket, landed a job and then sent for my mom, my brother and me two years later. He knew that bringing us to this country would offer us more opportunities to live freely. He worked two jobs: at a printing company and cleaning buildings in downtown LA. I joined him at the age of 5 and learned to dust staircases along with him. I am a hard worker because my dad inspired me to be! Simultaneously, he instilled the importance of education. He often showed off with his remarkable math skills. “Where do you think I learned that?” he would ask, knowing we would respond with the usual, “We know: school.” Thanks, Dad!
How do you live your purpose in your role at CBU?
I think about my upbringing — the good and the bad, the challenges and the scary decisions to come to an unknown country. I am grateful I can share my story with students, families and team members alike. I know my purpose is to inspire others — I share my story when I can and end with, “if a young girl who speaks no English can come to this country, learn the language, complete her bachelor’s and a master’s degree, I know you can, too!”