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SJSU LAN Wraps Up 2016 with a Fun Holiday Party

By Linda Castillo 

SJSU Latino Alumni Network (SJSU LAN) ended 2016 with a fun holiday networking event partnering with two other professional Latino organizations, the Latina Coalition of Silicon Valley (LCSV) and Prospanica San Jose. Since 1998 the LCSV provides Latinas with civic engagement and leadership development in Silicon Valley. Prospanica San Jose (formerly NSHMBA) started in 1988, an organization dedicated in helping Latino professionals obtain leadership positions.

All three of the organizations are working towards a common goal. “We have many members that are in multiple organizations so we wanted to create one holiday celebration where we could all come together. We hope that we can make this an annual holiday event!” said Karina Deras, Co-founder of the SJSU LAN.

The collaborative holiday party was the perfect opportunity for recently elected President of the Prospanica San Jose Chapter, Claudia Sloan who is in the process of building a strong and committed team. “I was President for NSHMBA in Phoenix prior to moving here and one of our success factors there was the high quality partnerships we had developed over the years. I'd like to see more of that for Prospanica here in Silicon Valley. Together we can make a bigger impact in our community! And I'm so lucky to have met people like Karina from SJSU who shares this belief with me and took the lead to plan the event,” said Claudia.


With over 150 guests in attendance, the venue was filled with an amazing energy and everyone had a wonderful time. The White Elephant game was a hit!

“My favorite part was seeing so many familiar faces, people involved with more than one of the organizations. Also, being be able to connect with people I didn't already know before,” said Nancy Sanchez from LCSV.

Guests had the opportunity to win many unique raffle prizes. Proceeds from the raffle and donations from the event raised went towards the SJSU LAN scholarship fund.

The holiday party was a great way to wrap up the SJSU LAN’s busy year and look forward to the many exciting SJSU LAN activities in 2017. “In 2017 we have 3 main goals: growing our network outreach to fellow Spartans, building our scholarship fund and professional development of our young professionals,” said Karina Deras.

If you are interested in learning more about upcoming SJSU LAN’s events be sure to follow SJSU LAN on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. You can also sign up for the SJSU LAN eNewsletter or become a member.

Linda Castillo is a San Jose State University Latino Alumni Network board member and the Founder and Executive Editor of She writes on topics that empower and inspire Latinas including art, motherhood, green living, culture, travel, and issues.

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