Chaminade Communication senior Sofia Vela jetted off to New York in February for a four-day conference of the American Advertising Federation’s Most Promising Multicultural Class of 2020.
Vela was among just 50 students from around the country selected for the class, a prestigious honor that recognized her portfolio of work and academic accomplishments. A panel of industry representatives from across a host of big-name companies selected the honorees.
The federation launched the Most Promising Multicultural Student program in 1997 to link the advertising industry with top multicultural students from around the country, setting up sit-downs with mentors and recruiters in a bid to create a more inclusive and diverse workforce.
Those selected this year traveled to New York from February 10 to 13 for a packed agenda—with workshops, “industry immersion” opportunities, and the Building Bridge for our Future luncheon.
The students were also treated to a Broadway show: “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.”
Vela said she couldn’t contain her excitement when she’d found out she was selected for the honor.
And the New York City conference didn’t disappoint. “I had no idea that this trip would be so life-changing,” Vela said. “Each MPM student was hard-working and driven. Together, we lifted each other up and created an energy that continues to motivate me, even after returning home.”
All the honorees in the class are minorities and 43 are women. The diversity left Vela inspired. “We were all there for a similar, unspoken reason: to redefine the norm,” she said. “The time to increase populations of multicultural men and women in the workplace is now.”
Vela said she’s now ready to take on just about anything after college. Whatever her next steps, she knows she’ll have some new peers to share them with. “I made some lifelong friends on the trip,” Vela said. “The students on this trip were all absolutely wonderful.”