Chas Figueroa, from Lawrence, MA, is a also pursuing a minor in Marketing. They are involved in a variety of clubs and organizations. Chas has taken a leadership role in some of these clubs, including the Gender/Sexuality Alliance, where, as President, they have brought awareness to the campus about LGBTQ+ issues. Chas began their involvement with the Alliance as a general member and has also been a Public Relations Officer for the organization.
Being a Peer Advisor in the Office of First Year Students and Students in Transition has been an integral part of their development as a leader. In high school, they had leadership positions, but Chas says that Peer Advising took that leadership skill and amplified it. The activity has shown them that they’re capable of much more than they believed possible.
Chas has also been the Marketing Chair of the Alternative Breaks Program and a member of the Senior Class Council, helping organize events for the latter.
The experience that has made the most significant impact on Chas’ life is Beyond Soccer, a youth development organization in Lawrence. They have been a part of Beyond Soccer since high school, starting as a player and now a member of the Board of Directors. According to Chas, “It has shaped who I am as a person and a leader”, The organization helps connect youth in their native city to new experiences, on and off the field to build confidence, as well as create opportunities for leadership, healthy living, and academic achievement.
Chas has spent a great deal of time volunteering as an assistant coach for Beyond Soccer’s under-12 girls team, as well as the head coach for the under-16 recreational program. Chas is not only a first-generation college student, but will also be the first Beyond Soccer alumnus to graduate from college. Last year they went home and met with some of the kids they had coached, three of which are first semester college students. “Being a part of Beyond Soccer showed me that the little things matter; you don’t have to be a huge figure,” Chas wrote in the Skookum Award application. “Everyone can make a difference whether that be big or small.”
Their involvement on campus, specifically the First Year Program, has helped with Chas’ decision to seek a master’s degree in Higher Education.