A Home Away from Home _ Penn Admissions

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A Home Away from Home _ Penn Admissions

A Home Away from Home

Given that it’s Thanksgiving weekend, I originally thought it would be a good idea to write about the importance of going home over the holidays, spending time with the family, seeing old friends, etc., but that seems pretty obvious. Instead, I decided to talk a little more about a community at Penn in which I found the closest thing to a home away from home…

Wharton Latino is an undergraduate club at Penn that brings together students that are from Latin America or that have an interest in the region, to offer social, professional, and philanthropy opportunities to its members. Unlike what its name might suggest, Wharton Latino is neither exclusively for Wharton students nor exclusive for Latin American students. From the very first day as a freshman (or even perhaps during my preview days as a pre-freshman) the club greeted me with open arms, and today I can say that some of my closest friends and mentors are part of the club.

The social aspect of the club is perhaps what makes it stand out so much and what I enjoy the most about it. In typical Latino fashion, we are loud, we love our culture, and we like to have fun. Some of the events we usually host include a Latin American food and festival hosted by the freshman class, a brunch in NYC with Wharton Latino alumni, a visit to Eastern State Penitentiary hunted house for Halloween, club-sponsored lunches and dinners around campus or simply GBMs (General Body Meetings) in which members gather to share club updates and have dinner together. We also have a mentorship program which enables underclassmen to get to know upperclassmen better, and we buy an essay even have a BBQ lunch during homecoming to greet our visiting alumni. There is a different event every week, which is the perfect opportunity to catch up with friends and get a nice study-break.

Most people join a wide range of clubs when they get to Penn, everything from artistic and performance groups, to finance and consulting clubs, and even Greek life. However, for many students (including myself) a club like that of Wharton Latino is a perfect safety net, a warm and welcoming community in which I can reconnect with friends that come from relatable backgrounds, that have similar interests and stories, that are not used to the cold weather or that simply enjoy getting together to have arepas, tacos or pan de queso…

So, in honor of thanksgiving weekend, I will say that I cannot express how grateful I am for this club, and the extent to which this diverse, enthusiastic and driven group of people have impacted and inspired my time at Penn.