Felix CumaName:
Felix Cuma

      What year did you graduate and what was your major/minor?
Chicana/o Studies and Dramatic Art, June 2013

What’s your current occupation?
I am currently a Corps Member for City Year Greater Philadelphia.

What are some words of advice for current students?
I would say, follow the career that you are most passionate about, and don’t let anyone or anything stop you. After I graduated from UC Davis I laid out a plan of what I wanted to do next in order to jumpstart my career. I received a lot of negative feedback from people that thought it would be difficult for me to accomplish my goals. I did everything I could to accomplish my goals, and now I am living in the east coast, working for a non-profit organization that works towards closing the achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students, which is something that I am truly passionate about.

What do you find most satisfying about your current occupation?
Working with underprivileged students in a low performing high school. I am constantly inspired by my students’ hard work and I am happy that I have the opportunity to help them realize their full potential through education. At first, the thought of working with high school student was terrifying. However, after months of interacting with them and relating my life struggles with theirs, showing them my interest in their accomplishments, and genuinely caring for them, we were able to form lasting friendships. I truly enjoy being a mentor to my students. I am grateful to witness my students’ transformation into young scholars. I see potential in all of them, which is a constant reminder that this service is truly greater than self. By working with City Year, I have seen every child’s potential to be a writer, a doctor, a lawyer, a musician, or a veterinarian. Yet in order to unlock that ability, they need to be given the opportunity to do so. 

What was your favorite part about the Chicana/o Studies department or being a Chicana/o studies major at UC Davis?
One of my favorite parts of this major was being a part of a community that cares about making a change in this world. I’ve met so many Chicana/o studies students that are so passionate about social justice, which was something that inspired me to seek my own passion in life. Being a part of this close-knit community fostered my passion for educational equality. Another favorite part of the Chicana/o studies department was the professors. I was able to learn so much from Chicana/o studies professors. Their passion in their areas of expertise was visible through their lectures and discussions. I am grateful that I was able to be a Chicana/o studies major because a lot of the materials that I learned from my professors I get to utilize at my current job. Also, professors genuinely care about their students. Professors care about whether their students are learning the material. They try their best to meet their student’s needs by holding extra office hours and letting them know that they are there to help them out. Even after graduating from UC Davis, I have been able to receive letter of recommendations for graduate schools from various professors.

      Can students contact you as a resource/mentor?
      Of course! Anything for the community.
Felix Cuma