The Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) is the first national professional development organization of its kind in the United States. The organization connects students and business professionals who share a common cultural perspective, providing workshops for members and hosting special events around the country.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, ALPFA was founded in 1972 by an accountant named Gilberto Vasquez. Vasquez recognized the lack of resources for his fellow Latino professionals working in business at the time which motivated the creation of this organization. ALPFA has since grown to have more than 90,000 active members spread across more than 200 regional chapters.
“ALPFA educates people about the unspoken rules of professional cultures and how to navigate fitting in,” says Elvita Quinones, associate director of Advising at the Fox School of Business. “It’s affirming for those collective people, where in this particular space they are appreciated for their background and culture.”
The student chapter at Temple recently held elections for executive board members and the chapter voted to elect two people to the role of president.
“The organization was looking for a new board when they were reopening and I was all in,” says Loymi Peralta, a Finance & Management Information Systems major and one of the newly elected co-presidents of the chapter. “I want to be there to create this space for people just like me.”
ALPFA’s regional chapters act as nodes to help make members feel at home with their colleagues regardless of where they may move throughout the country. Both Peralta and her co-president David Munoz arrived at Temple as transfer students, and each sought out ALPFA because they engaged with the organization at their previous colleges.
“When I first got to Temple, I was seeking out ALPFA because members at Ohio State let me know they were there,” says David Munoz, a Management Information Systems major and co-president.
The pair expressed gratitude for having a partner to share the position with, especially considering the circumstances brought on by COVID-19. When campuses first shut down, ALPFA’s chapter at Temple temporarily disbanded.
“We reactivated the chapter this past Spring,” says Quinones. “It feels like a start-up right now because students can build it out to be what they need.”
Peralta and Munoz are both heading into their final year at Temple and are working together to establish a path forward for the newly reformed student chapter. Working with a co-president has worked in their favor, allowing them to accomplish more projects with their limited time.
“We sat down and said we have to split some of this work,” says Munoz. “We separated tasks and tried to balance the load as best as possible. I’m looking forward to helping create something special and getting more people involved.”
Although they are soon graduating, neither co-president sees it as an exit from ALPFA. As an organization that connects students with professionals in the field, one’s membership to ALPFA can extend beyond their time at school.
“When we get out of Temple we’ll become a part of the professional network,” says Peralta. “We are part of something bigger than us.”