Jesse Miranda's Legacy Continues at His Namesake Center

Jesse Miranda, known as the "Grandaddy of US Latino Protestantism," legacy continues at Vanguard University. The Jesse Miranda Center for Hispanic Leadership at Vanguard is led by Norlan Hernández. The center works to support the Latino community at Vanguard University, a Hispanic Serving Institution. The center's purpose is to educate, equip, and empower leaders to transform campus, church, and community through education and partnership. Hernández is spearheading the way forward by bringing awareness of that effort.

"Our goal is to be as inclusive as possible. We want our community to know that we are here and we are here to support them. Right now, I'm working to establish an identity and voice for us online. We have just made a logo for our center and are going to be using that for web as well as social media."

Hernández is committed to staying true to Jesse Miranda's mission and hopes to uphold the three pillars that the JMC supports: leadership, education and partnerships. This Fall, Hernández will be facilitating a weekly Cafecito from 8:30 am - 9:15 am at the Bruce Lindsay Café. A time where he could meet participants interested in the JMC and hear about how he can better understand the needs of the community. The center is also hosting a virtual event on Wednesday, October 6th from 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm entitled CinderELLA: If the Glass Chancla fits, wear it. Chancla means sandal in Spanish. This event seeks to empower Latinas for leadership.

Hernandez says, "I come from a Nicaraguan background and I think that is part of what gives me so much heart for the Latina/o community. The Jesse Miranda center welcomes everybody, including missionary kids and third culture kids whose identity includes many layers of complexity.”

JMC alumna, Paola Martinez, a first-generation latina, graduated with a bachelor's in psychology and youth ministry minor in 2016. She chose Vanguard University, because campus was close to home allowing her to partake in family traditions. 

“During my undergraduate career, I was one of the few Latinas on campus and was struggling to adjust and finding people and places that could relate. The Jesse Miranda Center connected me to an on-campus job at The JMC and Professional Studies, connected me to GEO department accepting me to do my first missions’ trip to Peru, and connected me to El Puente to meet other Hispanic/Latinos or those interested in the culture.”

Martinez had the opportunity to meet Jesse Miranda. She believes that the JMC cultivated a space for her that ignited a passion to complete her education and motivated her to work in higher education. She is serving as a Resident Director of a student dormitory, Laguna Hall. Martinez loves working with student leaders that develop programming for first time freshmen females that are, integrated into Vanguard culture. When she is not working, she serves a youth leader alongside her husband at Santa Ana based church, Templo Calvario.

“Serving in the heart of Santa Ana and Costa Mesa allows me to align my personal goals with The JMC – equip, educate, and empower Latino/a leadership for the good of The Kingdom.”

As the JMC continues to grow, Vanguard University hopes that a spirit of inclusivity and empowerment will continue to guide our brothers and sisters in Christ forward.