Leading with impact

Students strive to inspire


Krys Shahin

Student leaders Adrian Montemayor, Caitlyn Lee, Christian Ortiz and Thyra Cobbs were panelists at the Impact Conference that took phace Thursday, Oct. 17 and Friday, Oct. 18.

Krys Shahin, @Krysshah

The Impact Conference, a leadership development and inspirational event for students, took place Thursday, Oct. 17 and Friday, Oct. 18. The conference hosted keynote speaker David Heredia, the creator of “Little Heroes of Color,” as well as other speakers from the college and Pittsburg area.

The event on Friday began with free breakfast for those attending, and the Dean of Equity and Inclusion, Sabrina Kwist, as well as Lauren Bartlett started off the speaking portion of the event regarding “leading for impact and conference agreements” around 10 a.m. in Library Room L-109.

“A lot of students don’t leave this area very much, so this is an opportunity for them to see things from a different lense,” said Student Life Advisor Teresea Archaga.

Attendees were also given Panera box lunches during lunch break with choice of multiple different types of sandwich or salad. Along with breakfast and lunch, attendees were given Impact Conference t-shirts and student assistance information in LMC folders.

This event is held every fall, and partners with many different programs on campus and behind the scenes. The planning committee often spend months creating and planning this event.

“[This event] started as a leadership skills workshop but shifted to a social justice type of advocacy kind of event,” said Archaga. “The event is a result of feedback we have got from other impact conferences.”

A student leader panel, featuring leaders Adrian Montemayor, Caitlyn Lee, Christian Ortiz and Thyra Cobbs was held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. During this panel, they talked about their experiences at LMC, how they became leaders, and how they gained skills in leadership.

“I think it helps to see people you can relate to talking about their experiences,” said Cobbs, president of Los Medanos College Associated Students.

The keynote speaker talked about business, crowdfunding, how to go about finding the career you’re passionate about and how to set up that career for the long run.

“It’s important to talk to people who are in that field,” said Heredia.

The event ended with five breakout sessions, “Active ‘allyship’ intersectionality and building community” which was hosted by Maritza Arreola, “First generation student success” by Lauren Bartlett, “Mental health and wellness in advocacy” by Sara Larkin, “Spirituality, action and immigration” by Jessica Lopez and “Wealth identity” by David Heredia and Edward Beanes.

Although 114 students RSVP’d to the event, according to Kwist, very few of those students actually attended. Due to this, the event coordinators were handing leftover lunches out to random students walking by after the event.

Heredia hoped to inspire students to “do what makes you happy and then figure out how to monetize it.”

For more information about Heredia and his inspirational messages or his new projects, you can contact him at [email protected]