Johnny Membreno (McIntire ’19)

Hometown: Sterling, VA

Why McIntire: Before beginning my first year at UVA, I knew that the Commerce School was going to be my goal for the next two years. With its rigorous and well-developed program, I wanted something that would set me apart in the future. I wanted to gain a sense of community within the business world and to create a lifelong network of peers who had similar goals. I wanted to be able to make an impact within McIntire as well, and the only way that was going to be possible is if I applied.

Hopes for the McIntire community: One of my biggest hopes for the COMMunity this year is that more people become engaged with ODEI. This can be done by increasing attendance at events, so anyone interested is always welcome! I would also like to see input from students themselves. If there are any program or event ideas that ODEI could install that would benefit the McIntire community, we are more than interested in what students want to see! We want to make it happen.

Why diversity and inclusion are important: Coming from a foreign background, I never imagined myself being in the position I am in. Statistically, a kid who came from El Salvador such as myself could have gone in so many different paths in life. The fact that I am able to attend one of top public universities in the country amazes me. and I am eternally grateful for the opportunities that have opened up in my life. We don't know where people have been in life, which is why diversity and inclusion mean everything to me. McIntire wouldn't be where it is today without the diversity it aims to prosper and grow. There wouldn't be a sense of community if it weren't for inclusion and making sure everyone feel like they belong.

What we can learn from ODEI: Students should learn what ODEI stands for. It is not only the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, but also a platform for a supportive, welcoming environment to all students. Come and learn about all of the events we help put on and how you can be a part of them. Come and learn about all the organizations we support and how you can join them. Come and learn who is a part of ODEI and get to know a new, friendly face!

Fun fact about yourself: I was actually raised in El Salvador for most of my early childhood. I lived there from ages 2 to 10 and learned everything a young kid could learn during that time. I was fortunate enough to have Spanish as my first language, and to this day, it is still in my top two dominant languages.

Hobbies: My hobbies include playing guitar and heading down to Clemons Music Studio to create covers or originals with my best friends when we have some time to kill.