Skip to content

2024 - ECC’s First EDI Peer Leadership Team Celebrates 1 Year, Sends off 2 Grads

Tags: Student Profile | Student Resources
Published 05/20/2024
From left to right: ECC student Destiny Guevara; Mica Dugas, EDI coordinator; ECC student Maya Wade; and ECC student Yahir Najera

From left to right: ECC student Destiny Guevara; Mica Dugas, EDI coordinator; ECC student Maya Wade; and ECC student Yahir Najera

This spring marks the one-year anniversary of Elgin Community College’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) program, which aims to increase awareness and develop a bridge between its services and students. 

The first student worker was hired in the spring of 2023. Considered ‘the middle man’ for students’ connection to the office, the now tight-knit group of three leaders, two of whom graduated this month, attend various campus events to engage with students, listen to their stories, and provide a safe space for discussion.

Each student joined not just seeking a campus job but was driven by a passion for creating necessary change and connecting with and assisting the ECC community. Meet the EDI Peer Leadership Team graduates:

Destiny Guevara, Elgin, Ill.

Spring graduate Destiny Guevara became the first student worker for the EDI Office.

She connected with Anthony Ramos, EdD, chief equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging officer, during a recovery event proceeding a virtual Zoom bombing of an ECC Multicultural and Global Initiatives Committee (MAGIC) discussion event.

During the event, Guevara was introduced to Ramos, who inquired what she would have done about the situation. Inspired by her honest response, Ramos brought her into their team.

In her new role, Guevara fell naturally in step with Mica Dugas, EDI coordinator, and Ramos, each becoming a mentor for her. “I felt very lucky to be the first student worker because I had this 1:1 mentorship and, on top of that, a 2:1 mentorship,” Guevara said. “I’m Black and Filipino, and working underneath Black and Filipino mentors was just crazy. It was the first time I felt seen, and they’ve given me the groundwork to do it for others on campus.”

Guevara will transfer to Aurora University to pursue an education major and a policy minor. The passion and knowledge she’s gained through her experience at ECC drives Guevara to be more than a teacher for her future students.

Yahir Najera, Elgin, Ill.

ECC student Yahir Najera found his place as an EDI Peer Leader when initially looking for a job on campus in the fall of 2023. 

“I liked what the office stood for, and I found it an opportunity to give back to my community and spread awareness on certain EDI topics to people who may not know or may not be entirely educated on them,” Najera said.

After working in the EDI Office for the past two semesters, Najera’s experience has fueled his passion to become a therapist and prepared him.

“I’ve been able to meet so many new people and hear their experiences, and it helps me understand how I can help them in the long run,” Najera said. “Most of the time when we meet, it’s one-on-one, helping me build that practice for the future.”

Najera graduated alongside Guevara this spring and continues working in the EDI Office over the summer to help recruit the next crop of leaders for the 2024-25 academic school year.

Although his transfer plans are undecided, after his time as an EDI Peer Leader, he’s certain about his future career path.

The EDI Peer Leadership Team works underneath Ramos and Mica Dugas, the EDI coordinator. For more information, visit