22-Year Old Latino Alliance Advisory Board Member graduates from UMASS/Lowell in Business & Management!
Dominican-born Vlad Saldaña: "Go the extra mile!"
We want to introduce you all to a fine young Latino man whose leadership excels among other college students. Our young "Champion of Character", 22-year old Vladimir Saldaña, was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. At the age of 10 years old, he and his parents moved to Lowell, MA, where he has been a resident ever since. Vladimir attended public middle school and high school in Lowell. He always dreamed of going to college but no one is his family ever attended a university, and, or to say the least, his parents never graduated from high school.
When Vlad was graduating from Greater Lowell Technical High School, he was told the devastating news by his guidance counselor that he didn't have the requirements to attend a university. With these new odds against him, he learned to use them to his advantage. His decision was to enroll and excel at Middlesex Community College, and as he describes, “It changed my life.”
After receiving his Associates degree at Middlesex, he went on to pursue his Bachelor's degree.
Vladimir has just graduated (May, 2013) from the University of Massachusetts Lowell's in Manning School of Business with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a dual concentration in Business Finance and Management!
A the college, he has been a Resident Adviser and the Academic Success Chair of the organization Men Achieving Leadership, Excellence and Success (M.A.L.E.S.). Vlad also gained professional experience through an internship with the Merrimack Valley Sandbox, an initiative to foster entrepreneurship and leadership in the region, and he has worked part-time at the Northern Massachusetts Telephone Workers Community Credit Union for the past four years during his college career.
Some might say he is lucky because In October 2012 , he was in the spotlight as one of two students chosen to ask a question at the nationally-televised U.S. Senate debate between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown, held at the Tsongas Center. In response he said, “I am lucky because I work hard. Call it what you like, but hard work pays off, maybe that’s what they call luck!”
More recently, he was recognized by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education as one of the 29 Who Shine, a program to recognize outstanding students representing each of the 29 Mass. public campuses. The honorees, chosen because of their academic achievements and record of student leadership and community service, stand poised to contribute greatly to the civic life and economic well-being of the state.
His mission is to find success in this great country. At the age of ten years old he told his parents that no matter what it takes, he will make them proud. Today that promise is the motive for all his decisions. He serves as an example to many of his friends, his family members, and our Latino community. In the future, he plans to make use of his leadership experience and knowledge to work towards improving this Latino community. His hope and vision is to make a positive impact in the world!
Vlad reached out to us in February of 2012 when Latino Alliance had barely started with his interest in helping Latinos to build a better life and to achieve success. It’s taken Latino Alliance since that time to convince him that his story, example, and integrity can help encourage other young Latinos to “go the extra mile!”
At 22 years old, he is the youngest member of the Latino Alliance Advisory Board. Latino Alliance proudly salutes Vladimir Saldaña as a “Champion of Character”!
Click on "Champion of Character" visual to enlarge!