Next Stop: Law School

When I entered college my freshman year, I knew I wanted to attend law school. I spent my senior year focused on applying, studying, gathering recommendations and finalizing my resume. My goal became a reality when I was accepted into the St. Mary’s School of Law in San Antonio, Texas. After my acceptance, I realized that it made sense for me to defer my acceptance until the Fall of 2021 due to financial reasons. I took the opportunity to work for a year as an International Leadership Consultant for Delta Phi Epsilon to spend the year preparing for my next step, law school. For this year, I set out to gain real world experience and build a network of professionals.

As an International Leadership Consultant, I gained professional skills that directly translate to my future career as a lawyer. I treat each chapter I work with as my clients and have learned to serve them in a timely manner while providing them the tools they need to be successful. I work directly with the millennial and gen z generations and have learned the impact the present day climate has on each demographic. As a lawyer, it is imperative to have commercial awareness and know what affects current affairs will have on a client. I have learned to gauge my communication style between generations and better understand where a client is coming from.

Each meeting as an ILC requires research and project management skills. By researching prior to each meeting, I am prepared to have a productive appointment and can anticipate my clients needs. Individual meetings and group projects taught me excellent project management skills. The experience of taking a project from conception to execution is a skill that will be helpful throughout my entire professional career. I must also ensure the wording, layout, and presentation is thorough and conveys the correct message when creating resources. My experience as an ILC has shaped me for the next steps in my future by giving me practical professional skills.

Delta Phi Epsilon provided me a wide network of professionals and mentors. The support from my bosses, my fellow consultants, and my mentor Linsay Wolf have all empowered me to continue to reach for my goal. My experience as an ILC has made me feel capable and confident for the next step in my career. Joining Delta Phi Epsilon my freshman year was by far the best decision I made. I took every opportunity the organization offered me and it has given me back more than I could have imagined.

Jessie Leal is an alumna member of the Gamma Gamma chapter at Schreiner University and a current International Leadership Consultant. Jessie lives in Texas and has plans to attend Law School next year. 

Applications are now being accepted for the 2021 – 2022 International Leadership Consultant Program. You can learn more information and apply, by clicking here. Interested in learning more about the program and have questions answered? Join us on November 12 for an interactive webinar, “Want to be an ILC?” You can register for that here.

DPhiE ILC, Take Two

You just never know where life is going to take you. 

We’re all familiar with the saying but before last year, I never really identified with the phrase. I came into college with no prior knowledge of the sorority experience; unfamiliar with the recruitment process, terminology, and overall understanding of the purpose behind being a member of fraternity and sorority life. I signed up for recruitment on a whim, really just searching for a place that would provide friendship, comfort and support during my collegiate experience. 

As a current Senior International Leadership Consultant reflecting back on my collegiate opportunities, I can confidently say Delta Phi Epsilon provided all these things - in addition to leadership development, sisterhood, opportunities for growth and a sense of belonging. 

It’s impossible to touch on my ILC experience and not begin with my experiences as a collegian. As a two-time member of my chapter’s leadership team (first as Vice President of House Management followed by Chapter President) I always adored when consultants came to visit. Not only were ILCs individual DPhiE experts, but they were able to collaborate with and learn from collegians, alumnae, advisors and university administrators throughout all of North America. They could answer and ask tough questions, provide leadership development through a variety of presentations and help lift your chapter to the next level. I just knew that when I graduated - I wanted to be an ILC. 

I am so incredibly thankful for every opportunity, experience and learning moment the past one and a half years as an ILC has offered me. Throughout 2019 and into 2020, I collaborated with thirty chapters and their leadership teams on both operational and recruitment-specific visits. Although I visited some pretty incredible places (The Grand Canyon, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the fall, cool college towns like Athens, Georgia), I look back even more fondly on the connections I made, the stories I shared and the members, alumnae and communities I learned so much about. I still find myself Facetiming fellow consultants from last year and connecting with chapter advisors and alumnae of chapters I’ve worked with. 

Consulting this year certainly looks different than the last. None of us anticipated living and working in a virtual world. Many university campuses have gone fully remote, primary recruitments are being held completely online, and student organizations have had to pivot their operations and programming to virtual spaces. What does this mean for the ILC experience? 

This year I’m directly overseeing fourteen chapters, serving a liaison for any chapter needs and concerns, ranging from recruitment and finance to operations and programming. I’m able to create my own schedule and take part in a variety of opportunities to expand my professional portfolio. This academic term I collaborated with the Organizational Growth team and helped create the Virtual Recruitment Guide, a resource that has offered advice, tips and best practices for recruitment in today’s climate. Beyond this, many ILCs have given workshops and webinars that lie in accordance with their functional area. I know that wherever I head next after DPhiE, my portfolio will be up-to-date with materials reflective of my strengths and career goals. 

Above all, I most appreciate the true connection, sisterhood, relationships, mentorship and professional development that being an ILC brings. In times of COVID-19, it’s normal to feel confused, overwhelmed and lonely; it’s easy to think only about the things that have been postponed or cancelled. My experiences as a part of the ILC program continue to remind me of the many things that continue during this time: the love we all can extend to each other, friendship, learning, and true sisterhood for a lifetime. 

Thank you, DPhiE, for an experience I will cherish forever. From the co-workers that turned to friends, the friends that turned to family, to the members that reached out saying ‘thank you!’ for helping them with a workshop or answering a question. All have impacted me in a way that’s hard to put into words! Each moment has been full of so much happiness and joy - the future of the ILC program is bright and I can’t wait to see all it accomplishes. 

It’s true; you just never know where life is going to take you. I’m so grateful mine brought me to be a DPhiE ILC. 

Mary Kleffner is an alumna member of the Gamma Kappa chapter at Capital University and a current Senior International Leadership Consultant. Mary specializes in creating recruitment education resources and helps manage the social media account for the Delta Phi Epsilon International Leadership Consultants (@dphieilcs). 

Applications are now being accepted for the 2021 - 2022 International Leadership Consultant Program. You can learn more information and apply, by clicking here.

Reflections on my Heritage

As a younger generation Mexican American, I have struggled in different ways than most. In the movie Selena, which tells the life story of Mexican American music artist Selena Quintanilla, her father says it best. He said “Being Mexican American is tough. And we gotta prove to the Mexicans how Mexican we are, and we gotta prove to the Americans how American we are. We gotta be more Mexican than the Mexicans, and more American than the Americans; both at the same time. It’s exhausting! Man nobody knows how tough it is to be Mexican American.”

Growing up it was not advantageous to be diverse. I grew up not fully immersed in my Mexican culture. People looked down on you if you spoke Spanish, had an accent, dressed a certain way, or were Mexican. As we head into a more diverse world, this has been a struggle for me. Though there has been progress, there is still not enough representation of Latinx in politics and in various industries across the board.

As a young Mexican American, I want to be an example to young hispanic women. I also know that I am not an expert or the most accurate representation of my culture. I continue to learn about, experience, and lean into my heritage to grow. If you want to learn more, or are curious, I created this resource document. 

Delta Phi Epsilon’s mission of diversity and inclusion encourages me to further my purpose in this area. Being a first generation college student and Mexican, my family and I had absolutely no clue what a sorority was when I first joined DPhiE.

How can we take all of our cultural core values and translate them into DPHIE? How can we all educate PNMs on what a sorority actually is, instead of just assuming it is common knowledge? Acknowledging, talking, and creating small change is an incredible way to start educating our members on all of our different cultural experiences.

Jessie Leal is an alumna member of the Gamma Gamma chapter at Schreiner University and a current International Leadership Consultant. Jessie lives in Texas and has plans to attend Law School next year.

5 Bucket List Places to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month takes place every year from September 15th to October 15th. It begins mid-month to mark the independence of several Latin American countries but I always preferred to think it’s because, as Hispanics, we like our celebrations to have a little something extra. 

Many people are unsure which term to use when referring to the Hispanic community so let’s do a quick review. Hispanic refers to people from a Spanish speaking country, of which there are 20, from Argentina to the Dominican Republic. Latino/a or Latinx refers to people from countries in Latin America, which could include Brazil even though they speak Portuguese. For our purposes, we’ll use these terms interchangeably.

As a travel blogger, I’ve had the privilege of visiting more than 35 countries in the last 3 years. I love discovering unknown places but there’s something about being in a Hispanic country that always feels familiar. I was born in Puerto Rico and moved back to the island as an adult, where I now live full-time. I am proud of my culture and eager to share it with others. 

If you want to taste pure flavor, live life in the moment and get a glimpse of ancient civilizations, these destinations are the perfect place to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.  

1. Spain

Trip to Spain? Yes please! Hop aboard a cheap flight with TAP Portugal or Norwegian and head to Madrid or Barcelona, the two most popular cities. 

Both have distinct identities. Madrid is inland and is the capital city. It’s filled with posh Spaniards that stay out till 2am eating tapas and drinking sangria, only to be back at work by 10am looking impossibly fresh. There are many things to do in Madrid, from admiring art in the Prado Museum to watching a live flamenco show.. It is a metropolitan experience unlike any other! 

Barcelona, on the other hand, is located on the coast. There’s a mix of people and influences as it borders France. It’s here that you’ll find the works of Antoni Gaudí, legendary architect that made fairy tale buildings come to life. Don’t miss the Sagrada Familia and reserve your tickets ahead of time. 

Finally, those wanting to experience the Spanish countryside should head to Andalusia. Here you’ll find Moorish remnants, from Turkish baths to the famous Alhambra. 

2. Cuba

Ready to dance? You’ll salsa the night away in Havana, Cuba, at the Fabrica de Arte Cubano specifically. Everyone makes use of things instead of throwing them away in Cuba so you’ll find repurposed art is very common. For a sight, visit Fusterlandia, one artist’s home that has been covered in mosaic tile and showcases grandiose installations, transforming an entire neighborhood into a piece of art. 

Fans of Ernest Hemingway, rent a car with a private driver who can take you to his estate and show you his frequent haunts. Although once at the bar (where you’ll inevitably end up) I recommend that you skip the daiquiri and stick to the mojitos. The fresh mint used -- stem and all -- makes this version of the drink sweeter than most and a temptation you won’t be able to resist. 

3. Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is easy to discover since it’s part of the United States — no passport needed! It’s also home to a tropical rainforest, three bioluminescent bays, one of the busiest cruise ports in the Caribbean and countless golden sand beaches. 

Most people begin their visit in San Juan. Stroll the cobblestone streets and take in the ocean air while visiting one of two fortresses in the area. For lunch, try the mofongo, a mashed plantain dish filled with your topping of choice, from lobster to veggies. 

Those wanting to explore beyond San Juan should head to the Southwest Coast. Ponce is a beautiful city with historic walking tours. You’ll find the Serralles estate here, heirs to the Don Q. fortune. You can also head to Yaucromatic, an outdoor art museum in Yauco where a residential neighborhood is painted vibrant colors. 

4. Ecuador

Ecuador has so many once in a lifetime experiences that it’s surprising it doesn’t get more attention. Located on the equator line, it is the only place in the world with a museum and monument on the line, allowing you to conduct experiments with gravity and stand in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere at the same time. 

It’s also a little-known adventure capital of the world, offering whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, ziplining and more for a fraction of the price of other operators in the mountain city of Banos. While there, make your way to the Casa del Arbol and swing off the end of the world

5. Mexico

Mexico is a dream for digital nomads and young professionals. You can find luxurious spas and lodging along the Riviera Maya and in Tulum. In the summer months, you can go swimming with whale sharks, an experience many people travel to the Philippines for. 

The food scene is top notch and I recommend indulging in street tacos whenever you get the chance. Since they cost less than $.50/each you’re practically obligated to buy more than one! No one likes to carry change. 

Up for a road trip? Visit one of the new World Wonders at Chitchen Itza. There are also smaller sites nearby that you can explore more freely, like Ek Balam where you can still climb on the ruins. There’s also pink lakes at Las Coloradas

You’ll need more than a month to visit all the Hispanic countries in the world but this list is a great place to start.

Latinx Page Turners

During Latinx Heritage Month, we have been asking you to submit books written by Latinx writers that you could not put down! We are excited to bring you this list of recommendations from our own membership. 

If you are looking for an escape, these books have it all. From love stories to short stories, horror stories and in between - we promise you will find at least one new book to dive into. 

With Amazon Prime Days approaching, what better time to expand your library? You can even make a difference when you buy them. Simply shop at or with AmazonSmile ON in the Amazon Shopping app and AmazonSmile donates to Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation.

They Both Die at the End, Adam Silvera
With the Fire on High, Junot Díaz
How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accent, Julia Alvarez
Dominicana, Angie Cruz
I’m Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, Erika Sánchez
The Circuit Books, Francisco Jiménez
Esperanza Rising, Pam Muñoz Ryan
The Story of my Teeth, Valeria Luiselli 
The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros
Clap When you Land, Elizabeth Acevedo
You had me at Hola, Alexis Daria
In the Time of Butterflies, Julia Alvarez
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz
This is How you Lose Her, Junot Díaz