By Augustine Ugalde
Current Arizona State University student, Anastasia Landeros is a familiar name to many journalism students and to the administrators and faculty at East Los Angeles College.
Landeros first attended ELAC in 2004 at the age of 16, while still a student at Alhambra High School. Landeros transferred to an out-of-state university because of the math requirements at ELAC. “I would still be at ELAC if it wasn’t for Arizona State,” said Landeros. “I just don’t get why all this math is relevant.”
Landeros struggled greatly with math at ELAC. These struggles included inaccurate assessment and placement in her early academic career, to several attempts at elementary and intermediate algebra before transferring out-of-state. ASU offered her something she couldn’t get from the UCs and Cal States; an opportunity to pursue her dreams, so she is now an aspiring radio broadcaster. “Math has been the bane of my existence,” Landeros said.
Through all this, she still looks back at her stay at ELAC as a special time in her life. “ELAC was life-changing for me. I learned a lot about life here. It was a positive experience, except for math,” Landeros said.
Born in Monterey Park, Landeros, exhibited great personal talents, drive and intuition at the early age of six when her mother, who is a former ELAC dance student, enrolled her into a Folklorico dance class at ELAC. The classes were held by long-time ELAC dance instructor, Benjamin Hernandez and were affiliated with the famous ’70s Folklorico group, Mexicatan. “It was one of the most famous Folklorico groups in the state; probably in the U.S.,” Landeros said.
Her early dreams were to become a professional dancer who not only danced Folklorico, but also enjoyed dancing tap, jazz and ballet. “I wanted to be a ballerina,” Landeros said.
Because of the rigors of dance and a few bumps and bruises associated with it, Landeros changed her focus to other liberal arts. She loved music and played the piano and French horn. She was also in the drama club at her high school, as well as president of her church’s choir. She also demonstrated early proficiency in writing that led to a position on her high school newspaper.
In 2006 she took a journalism class at ELAC and joined Campus News. Landeros said that her writing talent was born from her love of reading. “I don’t know where that came from. I always loved reading and I would read instead of playing with Barbie dolls,” Landeros said.
This love for reading continued at ELAC where she studied and excelled in English, and fell in love with the writings of Shakespeare. Her love for Shakespeare was tied to the mystery, intrigue and plot twists the Bard provided her. Landeros said her favorite work from Shakespeare is “Hamlet,” with a chuckle. She described “Hamlet as violent, demented and creepy. Her love for writing translated into a successful Campus News career having served as a writer, editor, managing editor and editor in chief and is now studying broadcasting at Arizona State University.
Even though Landeros would have preferred to stay close to home, she is happy that ASU has given her a chance to move on in her life, and she is taking full advantage of it.