We are excited to introduce ALKU’s next DREAM Leader, Medical Device Sciences Recruiter, Maria Zoto! Check out the answers Maria provided below!
What influenced you to launch the ERG, DREAM?
A lot of things influenced the launch of DREAM, but if I had to start somewhere, it would be that I’m an immigrant myself. I moved to America from Greece when I was almost six years old, along with my mom, dad, and sister. I grew up in a foreign, Greek-speaking household that was a lot different than my American friends’ homes, and I always wondered why my house was so much louder and blunt. I had to learn English and adjust to the American culture, and I have been living the American DREAM since. I have pledged to keep my Greek heritage alive for myself and future generations. We are creating a space where our fellow peers can celebrate achievements and share struggles that come with being an immigrant themselves or having parents who have immigrated.
How will DREAM support members of the ALKrew?
DREAM is a collective group that will celebrate achievements while also creating a safe space where peers can share struggles that they may be facing. We want to hear the opinions and stories of our members more than the opinions of our leaders. It’s a group to keep myself and others accountable, to never forget where we came from. I want to listen to everyone’s stories and celebrate their heritage.
What is a short-term goal for DREAM?
We have so many exciting things planned but we will be starting with a celebration of our heritage for the month of June, which is National Immigrant Month!
What is a long-term goal for DREAM?
DREAM’s long-term goal is to have 100+ ERG members. We want to donate our time to keeping heritage alive and celebrating countries all over the world.
What do you want people to be aware of outside the group?
That this is a group overly passionate about where they came from and what their heritage is.
This ERG serves as a multi-cultural safe space for individuals who are immigrants or have first-generation immigrant parents or guardians. In this group, all ethnicities, races, and nationalities are encouraged to raise awareness of the immigrant experience by sharing and learning about upbringings, struggles, and citizenship processes while providing support and resources.