National Hispanic & Latinx Heritage Month Spotlight: Jacqueline Calderon
Jacqueline Calderon was born and raised in Indio, California by her mother, Virginia Ortega, and father, Jesse Calderon, who were also born in Indio, Calif. Both of Jacqueline's grandparents were born in Mexico and her maternal grandfather originally came to the United States as a member of the Bracero Program (a Mexican Farm Labor Program from the 40s which permitted millions of Mexican laborers to work in the US legally) and later settled in California to start a family in the 60s. Calderon’s family worked hard and always pushed the value of education. Many of her aunts and uncles pursued degrees, with several choosing the education field. Along with her two older siblings, Calderon is among the first grandchildren to obtain or receive college degrees in her family. She has been playing soccer since she was four years old and has worked extremely hard in hopes to be able to give back to her family in her future.
Calderon came to UMN Crookston because she was recruited to play soccer on a scholarship and it was an amazing opportunity to continue her athletic and academic careers. She was also interested in UMN Crookston because her sister plays soccer at UMN Morris and was excited to play soccer close to her sister despite being over 2,000 miles from home. Calderon enjoys that she can get involved in so many things on campus like being a Lead Community Advisor, a member of SAAC (Student Athletic Advisory Committee), the VP of Marketing in DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America), an intern in athletic media relations, and a student representative on various committees. In addition to her exemplary involvement, Jacqueline was also named to the 2021-2022 UMC All-Academic Team.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is so important to Jacqueline because she gets to celebrate and embrace her Mexican-American culture and appreciate the sacrifices her family made so that she is able to have amazing opportunities like attending college and pursuing her athletic career. Calderon is extremely proud to be Mexican-American, and she is grateful that UMN Crookston has allowed her the opportunity to pursue a degree while continuing to play in the sport she loves.