Quick facts about Margarita “Maggie” Landeros
Degrees: BS, psychology and sociology with an education minor; MEd, school counseling and pupil and personnel services credential, University of Southern California; EdD, educational leadership, administration and policy, Pepperdine University
Currently: Counselor support specialist, Green Dot Public Schools; member, Chicanx Latinx Alumni Association
Tell us a little about yourself.
My parents are from Guanajuato, Mexico, and I am the oldest of four siblings. As a proud Compton native, my identity as a Mexican American and the educational disparities I witnessed in my low-income community drive my work as an educator. I help to improve college access in communities like my own through my work with school counselors and my involvement with Cal.
What was your life like at Cal?
Cal was my dream school since the age of 12. As a first-generation college student, I knew that I was academically underprepared for Berkeley. Despite challenges in my college transition, I never felt like I was not worthy of being at Cal, and my professors, graduate student instructors, and peers helped me embrace my personal path to success. I was an Alumni Scholar in the Cal Alumni Association’s Achievement Award Program and a Golden Bear Orientation leader. I participated in Summer Bridge, served as co chair and community service chair for TRENZA, and interned at the Raíces Recruitment and Retention Center. Working as a student assistant for The Achievement Award Program, and being involved with the Cal Alumni Association (CAA) early on, set me up to stay involved after graduation. I also joined Lambda Theta Alpha, for which I established an outreach program with a local middle school. Additionally, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Porto and Paris. At Cal, I found my place and voice as a leader, scholar, and professional.
What are you working on currently?
I coach and support school counselors in my charter organization to strengthen their practice and impact on students in communities similar to my own. COVID-19 brought new challenges to everything, including the way we do our work as educators. I lead a professional development series that focuses on how to effectively pivot to distance learning. I actively seek out involvement opportunities outside of work, because they challenge me in different ways and allow me to build my network and, ultimately, better serve students. I’m on the communications committee for the Western Association for College Admission Counseling; co-chair the NACAC Greater Los Angeles National College Fair; serve as vice president of internal affairs for the Gates Millennium Scholars Alumni Association Los Angeles Chapter; and am on two committees for Lambda Theta Alpha. I was selected as the spokesperson of a vaccination campaign and made commercials in English and Spanish to encourage folks to get vaccinated. These commercials are currently running on Univision and ABC7 News.
How do you tap into your Cal alumni network?
As an Alumni Chapter leader, I collaborate with other chapter members to expand our reach. As an educator, I work with my fellow alumni when I would like them to speak to students about their respective career fields or their path to higher education. I connected with the UC Berkeley Chicanx Latinx Alumni Association (CLAA) to help Latinx students access—and thrive at—Cal. I have always been passionate about improving access to higher education for underrepresented students, and CLAA allows me to do that, as well as build community with my fellow Bears. Last year, I was elected co-chair for the CLAA Los Angeles Chapter and joined the CLAA Board as secretary and chapter liaison. My love for Cal and the friendships I made there are why I continue to contribute to my chapter and pay it forward.
CONNECT NOW WITH THE CHICANX LATINX ALUMNI COMMUNITY
CLAA’s mission is to support Chicanx and Latinx students at Cal by providing opportunities for meaningful and lifelong engagement, and partner with UC Berkeley to foster its core values. Join CLAA and connect with alumni like Landeros.
The Chicanx Latinx Alumni Association’s core values:
- Champion diversity, equity, and inclusion at UC Berkeley
- Promote the academic achievement of all students
- Encourage fellowship among alumni
- Mentor and empower Chicanx and Latinx students
Maggie Landeros ’09 | Image courtesy of Maggie Landeros