Image of Idelsa Mendez and Lina Cruz on Zoom

The Women’s History Month edition of Veladas Hostosianas / Hostos Culture Talks continues to inspire the College community. On March 17, Hostos alumnae Idelsa Méndez and Lina Cruz engaged in a candid one-on-one conversation that delivered an empowering message on the importance of student engagement and commitment to hard work to achieve one’s dreams.
Alumni Manager Féliz Sánchez, an Hostos alumnus himself, eloquently served as master of ceremonies and detailed the accomplishments of the speakers.
Interim President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, smiling throughout shared: “I am like a mother hen, and am here because I am so proud that Hostos was the beginning for these professional women, and Mr. Sánchez as well. I want all us to listen and to learn.”
SGA Senator and Secretary Isabel Neira Sánchez, also welcomed attendees with an impassioned speech centered on solidarity.
Born and raised in Colombia, Cruz came to the United States over a decade ago to learn English and enrolled at Hostos because other members of her family started at the College. Slowly but surely, Cruz learned the English language. She recounted how she challenged herself to engage in as many activities and leadership opportunities as she could, and today Cruz is the Manager of Multicultural Affairs for the New York Yankees.
“I thought, if I only have a year in this internship with the Yankees, then I have to work twice as hard and learn as much as I can,” she shared. “And I asked myself, ‘how can I contribute and add value to the work I’m doing?’ And that’s how I started to go beyond what was being asked of me. Researching, asking questions, and being there to help my supervisors every step of the way. And what started as a yearlong internship is now almost a decade.”
Hostos Development Officer Idelsa Méndez is a beloved leader at the College and the Bronx community at-large for her candid demeanor and love for Hostos and its students. She repeated, “Get a mentor, someone that is going to advocates for you. I found people at Hostos that acted in part as a cheerleader and part coach.  I can testify to the impact mentorship had on my trajectory." 
“Idelsa and Lina embody the Hostos spirit of generosity and commitment, and it is marvelous to know the community has women like them,” said Interim President Cocco De Filippis.
For both Cruz and Méndez, working hard, participating in student activities, and taking  advantage of all the resources Hostos are the real keys to preparing for the real world.