Meet Our Scholars
University of Southern California
Gerardo Pesqueira sometimes shortens his name to Gera for peers who have a difficult time annunciating his Hispanic name. Despite moving to a new country at a young age, his culture and identity remain intact. For Gerardo, something as simple as an atole, a traditional beverage in Mexican cuisine made from masa harina, the type of corn flour that is traditionally used to make corn tortillas, allows him to stay connected with his roots that lie on the other side of a border. The opposing nature of residing in both identities has enabled him to see things from a distinct perspective. Gerardo often displays the beauty of his community through art. He had the amazing opportunity to auction a custom painting for the Black Lives Matter Organization which allowed him to promote inclusivity while helping his community. The improvement of his community has constantly been his goal. Distributing food alongside the LGBTQ Resource Center, teaching elementary students, and volunteering at the local hospital has allowed Gerardo to connect and listen to others’ stories. With this in mind, his mission is to contribute to cross-cultural learning and open-mindedness by devoting time to improving his community.