Alumnus is Inspired to Teach
Only a few days away from receiving his master’s degree in bilingual secondary education, Jonathan Gómez ’04 can only think of one thing – returning to the classroom, but this time as a teacher.
The soon-to-be double alumnus is a first generation graduate student and an LMU admission counselor. “The first time I applied to LMU, I wanted to stay close to home,” explained Gómez. “After a visit, I felt I fit in most at LMU. Its diversity, access to resources and top professors influenced my decision.”
As an undergraduate, Gómez majored in Spanish and began contemplating a career in education. “Professors like Katharine W. Clemmer, ‘Sonny’ Richard Espinoza, Magaly Lavadenz, Antonia Petro and Brian Treanor motivated me to become an educator who views the world through a critical lens and works for social change,” said Gómez.
To enrich his college experience, Gómez got involved in extracurricular activities such as the Latino Business Student Association, the Mexican American Alumni Association and Beta Gamma Nu. He made many lasting friendships and admits that his all-time favorite LMU moment was meeting his college sweetheart during Latino Overnight, a program that brings newly admitted students to campus for a weekend visit before their first semester.
During his senior year, Gómez’ work study job in Student Employment Services was turned into a permanent full-time position. After that, he took on a role as a LMU admission counselor.
The best part about being a counselor, said Gómez, is that he gets to meet new and interesting students. “Whether it is in person, through e-mail, via instant message or from a comment on the blog, there are always new people to meet,” he reported in a blog that he created to reach out to prospective students. The admission process, financial aid, required courses and opportunities to grow as leaders are some of the topics he writes about.
Gómez frequently volunteers in predominantly Latino high schools with low graduation rates. According to Gómez, the issue further inspired him to give back to those underserved populations: after completing his master’s degree, his next step will be to teach math or Spanish to high school students in Los Angeles.
“I want to see as many students as possible get an education and become successful,” he said.