Karina Moreno graduated from Normandale Community College in 2011, and was hired shortly after as the college’s Latino Outreach Coordinator. During her time in that position, Moreno has had a great deal of success in the position helping Latino Students from the area find a good match at Normandale.
In her time as a student, Moreno played a major role in the Latino Club (which she still helps out with), as well as taking part in the Diversity Club. She also helped the school reach out to the Latino community as a student in a variety of ways, which helped give her experiences to be successful in her current position.
Moreno came to the United States from Mexico about six and a half years ago. She had finished high school and attended a year at the university around her hometown. Moreno’s dad and older sister had already come to the United States. Her dad came 12 years ago and her sister came shortly after him. Moreno’s dad had always preached the importance of a good education and because of the location of Normandale to his Edina home and the reasonable price he had suggested it to Karina.
“Throughout my time growing up, my dad always stressed to me the importance of education,” said Moreno. “My English was not great when I first came here, so I went back to high school for a year and then came to Normandale. While I was in Mexico, my dad had told me Normandale would be a good place to go because of the location, and I decided to go for that reason and the diverse population of students.”
When Moreno arrived on campus for her first semester, she was not sure how to get involved in extracurricular activities. However, she would find out from her English Composition Instructor about the availability of activities through student clubs. About halfway through her first semester, she helped start the Latino Club, which had not existed for approximately 10 years. Moreno helped out by starting a dance club with Salsa lessons to help build interest for the Latino Club. She also was part of the Diversity Club.
“I was very interested in meeting and getting to know other Latino students,” said Moreno. “Along with some other people we started the Latino Club, which had not existed in 10 years or so. I also enjoyed being part of the Diversity Club, and learning about other student’s cultures and backgrounds.”
Moreno continued her involvement with different organizations as a student at Normandale, working at the Center for Multicultural Services and helping the Admissions office reach out to the Twin-Cities Latino Community. Moreno is thankful for the fact that she was raised knowing that a college education was very important to her success and enjoys helping passing that message along to different Latino communities, as well as telling them all the great things Normandale has to offer.
“I told our Dean of Marketing and Enrollment Matt Crawford (Director of Admissions at the time) that I wanted to help recruit Latino students,” said Moreno. “When I was in Mexico I graduated high school and was attending a university. It was something my parents and my community told me was important to do. Some people from different areas don’t get the chance to hear that message. I like to talk to parents about kids getting better jobs through continuing to go to school.”
On May 17, 2011, Moreno received an Associate’s Degree in Business with honors and as part of Phi Theta Kappa an International Scholastic Society.
Moreno made a huge impact as a student at Normandale as part of the Diversity and Latino Clubs. She has continued to do so in her current position with the college. Moreno shows her desire and passion for the education in the Latino Community on a regular basis with outreach efforts to make sure Latino families and students throughout the Twin Cities are aware of their higher education opportunities going forward.
As a student, it was clear Moreno would make a big impact in whatever she chose do. It has been Normandale’s good fortune that she continues to have that impact on the surrounding communities and the college going into the future.