Eleina Santos, a senior at the University of Portland, grew up on a tiny island of Tinian, of the Northern Marianas Islands. She still considers Tinian her home. In high school, she created a new place to live when she moved to Vancouver, Washington with her family. Now she is in her fourth year at the University of Portland.
She has made UP her home too.
This is thanks to the two main groups she is involved with: Guam Club and Women’s Lacrosse. She is the captain of the Women’s Lacrosse team and the president of Guam Club. Santos joined lacrosse during her freshman year of college when few of her freshman home base group members joined and has been a part of the group ever since, moving through the ranks to become the captain of the team. “There’s never a dull moment with these clubs.” Santos says that she does not know where she would be without them.
She joined Guam club during her sophomore year as a way to connect with her Tinian culture. “I wanted to be around more Chamorros,” Santos said. “Chamorro” refers to the racial group of people from Guam and the Northern Marianas islands, including Tinian. “All the Guam kids were really friendly and encouraged me to come to the meetings,” she said of her first experience with the Guam Club. “It’s really hard to be from thousands of miles away, but the Guam club has been my home away from home,” Santos said.
This semester, those clubs are keeping Santos busy as always. She and the rest of the Guam club are in full swing preparing for Guam Night on April 10, 2015. Even with all that preparing, Santos says she still tries to make it out to lacrosse practice.
But UP as Santos’ home is coming to a close; she will be graduating in May. Though she’s looking forward to graduating, Santos will miss being a part of these clubs on campus. She said that she is thankful for all the friendships she’s gotten out of being a committed member of both groups.
“I hope (the lacrosse team) continue to work hard because they have the potential to be high level competitors,” Santos said. Santos also hopes that other students can benefit from the welcoming Guam students. “I definitely want to see the Guam club continue being as welcoming and hospitable as they are.”
Categories: Humans of UP