First-generation biology major Kevin Becerra-Cardoza finds leadership opportunities and personal growth through campus involvement

Sophomore Kevin Becerra-Cardoza of Lilburn, Ga. always enjoyed meeting new people and connecting with them, but upon arriving at Georgia Gwinnett, Becerra-Cardoza felt shy and awkward as a new and first-generation student. He was focused on his studies, but was unsure of how to move forward in the world of campus life.

“From the beginning, I used study rooms in the library, the library help desk, and the tutoring offered from the Academic Enhancement Center,” Becerra-Cardoza said. “These resources definitely made me feel less lost and provided a support system along the way.”

With a strong support system in place, Becerra-Cardoza felt compelled to get more involved, to grow personally and found a love of volleyball through a required physical education course. He’s now been playing recreationally and semi-competitively for two years and serves as president for the GGC Volleyball Club (GGCVB).

“Before coming to GGC, I never really imagined myself front and center,” Becerra-Cardoza said. “As president of GGCVB, I’ve had the honor to call the club my own and provide a fun, stress-free outlet for students. GGCVB isn’t just a club to me, it’s a milestone which provides me with insight into my capabilities.”

Becerra-Cardoza believes leadership means helping others grow every step of the way and creating an environment of trust. As part of the Student Government Association (SGA), he helped lead the path for campus change.

“This position [in SGA] allowed me to participate in the GGC LEAD 2019 conference, where I learned how to better lead and more about my personal attributes. The LEAD conference was really the big moment for me,” Becerra-Cardoza said. “I made several friends and the speakers and presentations really resonated with me. I later joined other student organizations, pursued student assistant employment opportunities and pursued leadership positions in several organizations.”

His campus involvement also includes being a student ambassador, a student orientation leader, Student Dance Association (SDA) vice-president and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society member.

As a biology major, Becerra-Cardoza attributes his success in part to his professors who from the beginning made him feel noticed and supported.

“Kevin proved to be a student who is directly engaged with his education and was a great asset to my Chemistry 1211K course,” Veronica Sublett Breeden, lecturer of chemistry said. “When he saw that students were struggling with the material, he would happily assist them. I have seen him become involved in numerous programs that promote GGC within the college and to potential students. He’s a great representative of the college and of himself.”

Becerra-Cardoza plans to graduate in the spring of 2023 and attend medical school or explore potential graduate school opportunities with an emphasis on genetics. His long-term goal is to become a surgeon.