Luis Espinoza

Hometown: Houston
Major: Psychology (premed), with minor in Latina and Latino studies

Favorite hangout? I love hanging out at the Sheil Catholic Center. That’s where my closest friends hang out, and it’s also where I live with two roommates in a small apartment. I also love the Multicultural Center because that’s where all the Latinos are, and I usually don’t see too many walking down Sheridan Road.

Defining anecdote: During my freshman year, I tried raising money to buy a coat. I volunteered for Kellogg research studies and translated between English and Spanish for researchers to save up money.
A few of my friends at Elder knew this. I told them “Man, I think I’m going to buy my coat next week. I think I’m up to that level financially. Do you know where I can get a North Face?”
One guy was like “Oh, no dude, you gotta wait ’til next week. That’s when they’re on sale.” The next day I was walking out, and everyone on my floor barricaded me in and kept me from leaving. They had gone out the night before and bought a coat for me. They pulled out this North Face box, and I started tearing up. They told me how they appreciated that I brought the floor together because I helped everyone get along. It wasn’t a special day like my birthday or Christmas, but I’ll never forget it. I still have the coat, and I wear it all winter.

Top accomplishment: I help out with a prison ministry through Sheil Catholic Center. We go down to the Cook County Temporary Detention Center every week. I formed a friendship with this kid who was treated kind of badly by police. They pinned him to the ground and went through his house without a warrant. He talked to me about it and confided in me. When he was transferred to another detention center, he wrote to me and asked me to testify for him. I went out there and testified, and the judge told him he was lucky to have me. He was released by the judge with no probation or house arrest. He hadn’t seen his family in a long time, and he finally got to go home. That just felt amazing.

What’s next? After graduation I’ll be going to Nicaragua for two years to work with the Fabretto Children’s Foundation. I’ve been to Nicaragua for two winter breaks for service projects.
There are several projects they would like for me to work on. There’s an existing water project that I’ll help out with by going out to villages and translating how to use these water filters. I’ll be teaching English and Sunday school and helping with medical work, too. Sometime during this summer or next summer I’ll be applying to medical school.

What was it like to be a candidate for Homecoming king? It was unexpected! I think it was my residents who nominated me when I was a community assistant in Foster-Walker. It was such an amazing experience to ride on the float and getting to know the other candidates. It was so cool hearing how the people on the court have made a difference on this campus and in the world.