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Source: Liz Renteria, liz29@k-state.edu
Photo available. Contact media@k-state.edu or 785-532-6415.
Note to editor: Liz Renteria is a 2008 graduate of Olathe North High School.
News release prepared by: Nellie Ryan, 785-532-6415, media@k-state.edu

Monday, Sept. 14, 2009

STUDENT FROM OLATHE LEADS K-STATE'S HISPANIC AMERICAN LEADERSHIP ORGANIZATION

MANHATTAN -- Liz Renteria, a sophomore in social work from Olathe, continues to stay close to her Hispanic roots by serving as president of the Hispanic American Leadership Organization at Kansas State University.

Renteria's Hispanic roots fall on her father's side of the family. Although the family has not lived in Spain for several generations, they continue to embrace their Hispanic heritage.

Renteria became a member of K-State's Hispanic American Leadership Organization in 2008 after hearing from her father that he was involved with the organization when he was in college. After a year of participating in meetings and serving as co-chair of the fundraising committee, Renteria decided it was time for her to step up her role.

"I originally was planning to run for vice president," she said. "But someone nominated me for president and I thought it would be a really good opportunity to take the organization to a new level -- to get our voice out there and really make a difference."

Renteria's presidential duties keep her busy on top of her full-time class schedule. She is studying social work with an emphasis in Spanish.

"Choosing this major will give me a chance to make a difference in families' lives," Renteria said. "I really want to work with children and give them a chance to have a good life no matter what their family circumstances are."

Although not yet fluent in Spanish, she said she is working on it and even hopes to study abroad in Spain within the next couple of years. Being a part of the Hispanic American Leadership Organization has helped to open her eyes to the diversity of the Hispanic culture, she said.

"My favorite part is that even though we are a Hispanic organization, there is a lot of diversity within our group,"

Renteria said. " Everyone comes from a different place, has a different major and a different lifestyle. I really like experiencing that."