By KJ Philp, September 2016 Issue.
Having grown up in Phoenix, Manuel Lucero spent his high school years at Camelback High School, where he graduated in 2009.
He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Arizona State University in 2013, which is also the year he joined LGBT Devil’s Pride.
As a part of this chapter of the ASU Alumni Association, he served as the board secretary for three years. During that time, he also completed his master’s degree in business management from the W.P. Carey School of Business.
This fall, heading into his fourth year with LGBT Devils’ Pride, will be a bit different for Lucero. In May, he was elected as the chapter’s president for the 2016-2017 school year and he just took office in July.
Echo Magazine caught up with Lucero, ahead of the fall semester, to find out more about what he has in store for LGBT Devils’ Pride in the coming year.
Echo: What is the mission of the LGBT Devils’ Pride Chapter?
Lucero: Devils’ Pride connects alumni in all walks of life, and also helps support the success of current LGBTQA Sun Devils.
Echo: What prompted your initial move to become involved as president?
Lucero: After serving as secretary for three years, I was ready to lead the group in a new direction.
Echo: Did you have to put forth a platform of new ideas, initiatives, plans or intentions for this group?
Lucero: Yes. The previous president did a fantastic job of connecting us with the [LGBTQ] community and making us well known. However, we did not have enough diversification within the group. We hope to involve a much wider spectrum of the community in the coming year, and involve both small and large community partners as well.
Echo: What were the top three things you value about LGBT Devils’ Pride, prior to taking on the role of president?
Lucero: Our board of directors: a wonderful group of committed individuals. Our members: we exist to bring ASU alums together, and it is wonderful to see our members join us at events. Our scholarship program: awarding current ASU LGBTQA students scholarships makes our mission more valuable and worthwhile.
Echo: What are the top three things you’d like to see change or improve now, as the president?
Lucero: I hope to increase our membership and continue to bring awareness [of] the organization. We provide a great space for ASU LGBTQA alumni, and I hope more people will join us to enjoy what we have to offer.
Echo: Describe the value of LGBT Devils’ Pride when it comes to business and community networking.
Lucero: Our members represent a wide array of industries [and] many of our members are long-time professionals. Our mixers and events throughout the year not only bring members together, but also allows for organic networking to occur. Many times I have seen true partnerships come together through our organization. The ability to meet at an alumni group fosters a sense of commonality, so networking is not only easier, but occurs much faster.
Echo: What else does LGBT Devils’ Pride do throughout the year?
Lucero: We host meet ups/events/mixers once a month … We participate in the AIDS Walk [and] we have previously sponsored different LGBT events. We also host an annual scholarship dinner in March. We award scholarships to current LGBTQA ASU students, and the dinner in March not only serves as the award ceremony for the students, but also serves as our key fundraiser for the following year’s scholarships.
Echo: Why is being involved in this capacity important to you?
Lucero: We are a community organization made up of community members. We value our community, and thus, we are proud to partner with groups and support groups who make a difference. As we award scholarships to current students and bring together alumni, we hope to be playing a key role in unifying a big part of our community her in Arizona.
Echo: Why is it important to have LGBT alumni included under the umbrella of the ASU Alumni Association?
Lucero: We have a lot to offer. Just as every other alumni group, we serve an important role in representing a group of alumni from Arizona State University.
Echo: If you had one message to relay to LGBTQ ASU alumni who are not chapter members, what would it be?
Lucero: Getting involved is very easy, and it’s fun! You can join us at a mixer, attend an event or volunteer with us. We bring alumni together. The more the merrier; we have something for everyone.