By Joannah Clemente
Riverside City College welcomed guest speaker Lieutenant Colonel Consuelo Castillo-Kickbusch in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Kickbusch, a 20-year United States Army veteran, motivational speaker and author shared her mission to advocate mutuality within the RCC community’s next generation.
“I’m a child of immigrants,” Kickbusch said. “I went through the so-called label ‘poverty-at-risk.’ I’m not a label, I am the American dream.”
She highlighted the road to genuine success, stressing the importance of overcoming self-imposed limits and reframing financial literacy.
“It’s about having wealth to do good for others,” she said.
Kickbusch provided insights into Hispanic family structure and cultural values.
“I’m proud of my roots but I should be able to speak the truth, even about my roots,” Kickbusch said.
She showcased the positive impacts of Family Leadership Institute, part of Educational Achievement Services, Inc.
“It’s great to know that our company, however small it may have been, planted seeds of hope,” Kickbusch said. “EAS and FLI are about restorative justice… You can’t be anything to the rest of the world because you’re an aligned body, mind and spirit.”
Also, she presented her book “Journey to the Future: A Roadmap for Success for Youth” as a vital guide for the next generation.
RCC’s Dean of Student Services Thomas A. Cruz-Soto, Jr. envisioned inviting Kickbusch to the celebration.
“I thought this would be a great piece for Hispanic Heritage Month,” Soto said.
Soto said her role in promoting women’s positions in military branches was a notable aspect of her contributions to Hispanic heritage.
He said her input stands to enrich the college’s curriculum, as well as its diversity and inclusion efforts.
“We’re doing a great job, but I think we can do even a greater job in making sure that we have a reflection in the academy,” Soto said. The people that live and work here and our students.”
Kickbusch inspired second-year student Xochitl Lemus to embrace a broader understanding of the Hispanic heritage, especially for first-generation individuals.
Lemus foregrounded Kickbusch discussing her parent’s post-World War II migration to Chicago from her discussion.
“I feel like this conference was an eye-opener for all of us,” Lemus said. “What they have gone through for us to be here and keep future generations moving forward.”