Delgadillo, a dual economics and finance major is a community volunteer and a DAP Advocate with the Office of Diversity and Community Relations.
Economics and Finance - Student
Ivan Delgadillo is a Volunteer every day – in name and in action. While managing a double major in economics and finance, the junior from Winchester, Tennessee, also lends his time to create an inclusive environment on campus and in the community.
“I came to the University of Tennessee to be a Volunteer,” Delgadillo says.
In the Haslam College of Business, Delgadillo is a Diversity Advancement Program (DAP) Advocate, working with the Office of Diversity and Community Relations. DAP is a selective program that provides students with the opportunity to hone their leadership and interpersonal skills while expanding their personal network and advancing diversity initiatives in Haslam. As a DAP Advocate, Delgadillo represents the Office of Diversity and Community Relations at engagement fairs, school and corporate visits and workshops.
“The Office of Diversity and Community Relations is the most welcoming office on campus,” he Delgadillo. “It has a very friendly community.”
Outside of Haslam, Delgadillo combines his passion for volunteerism with a cause that resonates with him personally. Twice a week, he teaches “English as a Second Language” classes for Centro Hispano de East TN. The classes are part of the organization’s workforce development program that supports Latinos in Knoxville, providing effective ways of communicating in a new environment. The curriculum includes reading, writing, grammar, listening comprehension and oral communication.
“The goal for the class is to learn English, but it’s more than that,” says Delgadillo. “I help students find a community in Centro Hispano de East TN and develop skills necessary to survive in the United States as an immigrant.”
Delgadillo’s class often discusses how to navigate daily life as a non-English speaker in the U.S.
“We’ve discussed what to do if you need medical care and the doctor’s office doesn’t have a translator or other challenges the students have encountered and how to handle these situations,” he says.
Delgadillo said teaching the class was initially intimidating, but one thing helped calm his nerves: In some of his students, he sees his parents. They immigrated from Zacatecas, Mexico, in the 1990s, learning to navigate a new culture and language.
“Thinking of them helps me bring more passion and personality into the classes that I’m teaching,” says Delgadillo.
Whether volunteering in the community or on campus, Delgadillo has found that his work has a positive impact on his own time in the classroom at UT.
“Volunteering makes me feel more a part of the community beyond campus,” he says. “To know that I’m helping people helps my confidence in the things I do, whether it’s in class or a job or internship.”
His work also aligns with his career goals of working in finance in Latin America.
“I want to be able to help people and small businesses get access to funds through commercial banking or microfinance,” Delgadillo says. “Doing that would help me have an impact on the growth of the region.”
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