Lubbock Christian University recently launched Paisano, an institutional inclusiveness and community engagement initiative. The initiative began as an outreach to the emerging Hispanic community and first generation college students, which LCU continues to see growth with both of those populations.
Monica Barnard, LCU General Counsel and Director of the Paisano Initiative, explains the purpose for the program, “Paisano is an initiative that looks at LCU’s impact on the Hispanic community in Lubbock and tries to create an impression within that community. Paisano will look for ways we can offer more support to first generation students and minority students. It will be a coordinated effort between different departments on campus to meet those needs.”
Some of the plans to meet those needs include: starting a mentor program for young first-generation men, holding a first generation graduation dinner, and hosting a LCU college day for high schools with a high number of minority students.
Among those who will benefit from Paisano is first generation, Hispanic senior, Izzy Miranda, who affirms the impact LCU has made in his life.
“In the past few years LCU has helped me grow into the person that I am today,” says Miranda. “I am very excited for the Paisano initiative because I have a passion for the Hispanic people. Knowing that there is an organization on campus that is reaching out to our Hispanic students and community is very encouraging. LCU has had a great impact on my life, and I want others to be able to experience the life changing effect that this university offers.”
“We are excited about the growth in Hispanic enrollment. We hope this initiative will demonstrate our commitment to the community,” concludes Barnard.
LCU has an overall Hispanic population of 21% recorded in this fall’s enrollment, with an 18% population in undergraduates.
The initiative was named for the slang Spanish term for friend, paisano, which is also a regional term to describe the chaparral by ranchers and farmers, making the term appropriate for LCU because the university mascot is the Chaparral.