Residency triggers community duty

Mike Sanchez

By Liliana Marquez

Mike Sanchez arrived in this country when he was only three months old without knowing that later on, his personality would be a great way to communicate and be the voice of others.

Sanchez arrived from Mexico as a child and soon developed a dynamic personality that allowed him to become a great communicator. Raised by his mother, along with three brothers and one sister, he believes that growing up without a father made him become a rebel; constantly switching jobs, cities and above all, schools.

After graduating from Bell High School in 2007 he kept working but not studying. He kept moving from one job to another and hanging out with the wrong kind of people. He said that, for him, studying was not a choice because he was undocumented.

It was not until 2009, when he became a legal resident, that he said, “I realized that I had an opportunity to keep studying, and start to do things right. My sister helped me to go back to school.”

Sanchez enrolled at East Los Angeles College through the South Gate Educational Center. In 2010, he created a club called, Pepinos Con Chile, which organized gatherings and kept students informed on school activities.

It was then when he started to get more involved and decided to start a campaign for ASU to get South Gate students more involved, he said. He smiles as he remembers how he decided to attend ELAC. “I told my friends I had to take over ELAC,” he said.

In Fall 2010, he became deeper involved and his life started to change completely. While at ELAC, he started to worked with different clubs, such as the Students for Equal Rights Club. “I wanted to get involved because I could relate to them,” Sanchez said.

“I’m happy in any way I can help. It’s a rewarding feeling to see that I can help people,” said Sanchez. In the Spring of 2011 Sanchez, along with Elans, decided to start a coalition team.

“I started to meet different clubs. It is very important for people to relate to each other. We have the ability to speak and socialize, and that’s the beauty of it,” he said.

When Sanchez speaks about what he does, he smiles and proudly shares his thoughts. “I don’t want to be a robot. I’ve always been very creative and outspoken. I’m doing something good, whether it’s big or small. For me to know that I can influence people in a positive way is great,” said Sanchez.

A characteristic about him that humors other people is the fact that he refers to himself in third person. Sanchez said that this is because of his personality.

“I look back and I can’t compare the person I was before and the one I’m now,” he said. For him this is self-rewarding. “This is what I am and what I can do and nothing people say is going to change that,” he said.

On the other side, Sanchez said that sometimes his personality can cause him trouble. “When people are not used to socializing with me, I have to be careful because I have a very strong personality. I’m very social and I easily speak my mind.”

Former Elan Eric Ho said Sanchez is “someone you can count on to get things done, whether it’s a student movement or just a classroom effort. Mike Sanchez makes things happen.” Ho also said about Sanchez’s personality and said, “Mike Sanchez’s personality is flexible. He’s a hard worker that tailors to the needs of others around him. He’s approachable and does his best to keep everyone happy.”

That is why Sanchez enjoys talking about his life, his personality and the things that he has accomplished so far.

When talking about is experience at ELAC he smiles and said, “I love ELAC. It’s been challenging and fun, with a lot of sleepless nights but overall rewarding.”

He has met a lot of people from diverse backgrounds and learned different social aspects. In the future, Sanchez wants to continue and finish his education. He also would like to travel a lot and keep meeting people. He plans to write a book about his life and, maybe even in the distant future, become a local politician.

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