University of Indianapolis alumnus Pamela Guerrero has been named part of the Axis Leadership Program’s cohort for 2021, according to UIndy 360. Guerrero graduated from UIndy in 2019 with a political science degree and a minor in international relations, but she didn’t want to stop there, Guerro said. She applied to join the Axis program to continue her growth and became one of the 30 participants selected out of over 300 applicants, she said.
Indianapolis Director of International and Latino Affairs Ruth Morales said the eight-month-long program supports its participants with monthly sessions and provides them with a mentor to guide them. She said these mentors are locally-established professionals who volunteer to aid young individuals in their development while helping them get more out of their Axis sessions.
“The program is aimed at helping develop, personally and professionally, young Latinx professionals here in Indianapolis and connecting them to a range of opportunities to be more connected in the community,” Morales said.
Guerrero said the sessions and workshops Axis provides are valuable and worthwhile, as sessions teach subjects from financial literacy to how to be marketable online. According to Guerrero, most sessions have taken a virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they remain beneficial and relevant. She also said getting to meet others in the program is valuable to her, and she hopes to create lasting connections from the Axis program.
“Specifically for my career, knowing people and having connections are key to everything that you may want to do in the future, and I think this is a really good match for that,” Guerrero said.
Morales said the mentorships are especially important because there is little Latinx involvement in Indianapolis. Latinx is a gender-neutral term for a person who is from, or whose ancestors were from, a Spanish-speaking land or culture or from Latin America. However, the program is a way young individuals can integrate into the community early in their careers, she said.
“It was just nice to be surrounded by more Latino people because I don’t know many in Indiana,” Guerrero said. “It was rewarding to see that there are so many other professionals just like me everywhere else in different industries.”
Guerrero said having a mentor to guide her with professional advice has also benefited her. She said she meets with her mentor monthly and is glad to have someone who will follow up with her as she works toward her goals. Guerrero describes her mentor as her accountability partner throughout the program.
“I really enjoy it. I think that we are a great group, and I think that there’s so much talent among the participants that is really inspiring, and I’m really truly grateful to be a part of this,” Guerrero said.
Morales said she recommends students of all backgrounds apply to the Axis Leadership Program, the only restriction is that they are within the age range of 21-to-28. According to Morales, applications open up in the fall.