Spartan Showcase: Ambar Solis-Fuentes

Photo of Ambar Solis-Fuentes

Major: Biochemistry, pre-health
Year: Fourth year

Fourth-year student Ambar Solis-Fuentes is a strong believer in leaving any place better than she found it. From volunteering to working as an RA, she has created positive change at CWRU—but two efforts remain her favorites.

Being a member of La Alianza, an on-campus organization celebrating Latinx culture, is one of them. As the group’s president, Solis-Fuentes says her proudest project was “delegating tasks within my executive board to help write a proposal [titled], ‘Addressing the needs of Latinx students at CWRU.’”

The proposal went through several drafts, and the group—led by Solis-Fuentes—worked tirelessly to finish it, ultimately presenting their ideas to Vice President of Student Affairs Lou Stark and then-President Barbara Snyder.

The proposal focused on efforts to retain Latinx students at CWRU, from offering Spanish pamphlets for families during Discover Week to having an action plan in place for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals students.

Solis-Fuentes said she is grateful for “the amount of support I received from peers, other student leaders and organizations on campus.”

“I was nervous at first,” she said, “but after seeing [President Snyder’s and Vice President Stark’s] willingness to make CWRU a better place for students like me, it was encouraging.”

Many of the ideas La Alianza presented to university leadership are now under consideration for implementation.

In addition to her efforts with La Alianza, Solis-Fuentes has enjoyed working with the Office of Greek Life on campus, despite not feeling drawn to Greek life originally. “As much as the idea of being part of a sisterhood sounded appealing, I just could never picture myself in a sorority [as a Latina woman]. And then I realized, maybe it’s not just a ‘me thing?’ What if others feel the way I do?”

Solis-Fuentes turned this realization into action, beginning her work to bring a multicultural or Latina sorority to campus. 

“Being Latinx on a predominately white campus has its challenges,” she said. “And being a Latinx woman adds a whole layer of intersectionality to it. My hope … is to create a supportive lifelong sisterhood that fosters growth and is empowering to specifically Latinas, but really all women of color.”

Solis-Fuentes is eyeing fall 2021 to officially launch the sorority, but much of the groundwork has been laid, including an informal recruitment. Fill out an interest form for the sorority.

As she continues the spring semester of her senior year, Solis-Fuentes continues to dedicate herself to giving back to CWRU. 

“I want there to be a space where we can understand one another’s experiences and have discussions about our intersectionalities,” she said of her Greek Life proposal, “while all at once supporting each other in our academic, professional and personal goals.”