Latinx Student Services Creating an Inclusive, Welcoming Space for All CWI Students

Published: August 31, 2022

The meaning of community and expanding that to students at College of Western Idaho (CWI) is something very near and dear to the hearts of the Latinx Student Services.

“We provide support for our students to create and foster a safe, inclusive, welcoming, and supportive space for our students," said Bibiana Ramirez, one of the coordinators for Latinx Student Services. "We want to build a community for our students to get connected, not only to the campus community, but to resources around us.”

Ramirez is joined by two other Latinx Student Services Coordinators, Damian Valle and Sitlaly Escamilla. Together they work to be a resource to all students through their academic journey. While the three work to support every CWI student socially, culturally, academically and through advocacy support, they have a focus on helping Latinx students.

All three coordinators are first-generation students which Valle said he uses his own experience to connect to students who are going on a similar academic journey.

“I let them know I’ve been there, and I let them know there are resources available,” Valle said. “When I first went to college, I didn’t know the types of resources available to me. To be there and help students become aware goes a long way. It is nice to have someone to lean on.”

Latinx Student Services coordinators oversee the Latinx Scholars Program, which is a program available for first-year students who identify as Latinx or are interested in learning about Latinx culture. The goal behind the program is to help students feel connected on campus and learn more about their Latinx culture through mentoring programs, workshops, and additional opportunities to learn skills to be successful.

“Most of the students we work with are first-generation,” Escamilla said. “We recognize those students are sometimes in the most need of having these supports.”

To help give incoming students more support, the coordinators have organized the Navegando Mentoring Program, which is comprised of second-year CWI students who pair up to assist first-year students transition to life in college. The mentors also go out into the community to give back by doing activities such as donating their time at food banks and thrift stores.

Ramirez, Valle, and Escamilla also act as enrollment counselors and visit area high schools to inform students and their families of what is available academically once they graduate.

“Our Latinx population comes from a background where maybe their parents are not aware of what higher education opportunities are here in the United States and Treasure Valley because they migrated from other countries,” Escamilla said.

They also host several events around campus and in the Treasure Valley to connect students, families, and communities about the Latinx Students Services and the College.

“People often ask questions like, ‘How can I get my degree? How can I start classes to earn my GED? Can I get my Career Technical Education certificate?’ We’re there to answer those questions and point them to areas of support,” Ramirez said.

Latinx Student Services have two events planned for September:

Convivencia Familiar

Thursday, Sept. 1
5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Nampa Campus Academic Building

Latinx Heritage Month Week of Celebration

Tuesday, Sept. 20
Noon – 3 p.m.
Nampa Campus Academic Building, Rm. 122

Wednesday, Sept. 21
Noon – 3 p.m.
Nampa Campus Academic Building, West Patio

Thursday, Sept. 22
Noon – 3 p.m.
Nampa Campus Academic Building, Rm. 122

Outside of events and programs, the coordinators are available to meet CWI students and families one-on-one. They are happy to give guidance on topics like, a student’s class selections, how to balance academic life and other obligations, how to get involved on campus, and much more.

“Everyone is welcome, we serve those who speak English, we serve those who speak Spanish,” Ramirez said. “We are looking to help every single student be successful here on campus.”

To get in touch with a Latinx Student Services Coordinator, contact Bibiana Ramirez at, or Sitlaly Escamilla at, or Damian Valle at

Latinx Student Services

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