Contact: Connie Ann Tucker, KDChi VP of Records Records@KappaDeltaChi.org

April 19, 2017 - Sisters, it is with pleasure that the Kappa Delta Chi Sorority Inc.'s National Membership Committee announces Leslie Salinas, 20, of the University of California, Los Angeles Extension as an honorary sister. This distinction is an honor extended to the most extraordinary individuals across the nation. Nominated by our Southern California Alumnae Chapter, Leslie Salinas is an outstanding example of a leader who exemplifies what it is to be a KDChi. Salinas was selected for her outstanding contributions to the Latin@ and disability communities and for dedicating her life to serving others.

Leslie is not your typical college student. She lives with an intellectual disability (formerly known as Mild Mental Retardation). She is attending The Pathway Program at UCLA and is pursuing her certification in Learning and Life Skills, pushing barriers, breaking stereotypes, and inspiring all who have the privilege of meeting her. Among her recognitions, she won the John R. Wooden Award in Basketball at the 2016 Special Olympics, received the honor of being named 2015 Valley Vista High School’s Unified Athlete of the Year and collected two gold medals, three silver medals and three bronze medals at the 2014-2015 Special Olympics Regional and State Levels.

While attending high school in Surprise, Arizona, Leslie Participated in the AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute, an organization dedicated to assisting students from underrepresented communities in achieving a higher education. While attending workshops led by Latin@ leaders, she gained an appreciation of her culture and displayed leadership within the organization, so much so, that it led the CEO, Rosemary Ybarra-Hernandez, to support her dreams to pursue a higher education. In addition to dedicating time to the Latin@ community, Leslie is passionate about and advocates for individuals with disabilities. Leslie has actively participated in several community service events including Spread the Word to End the Word, a campaign dedicated to stopping the use of the “r-word” and was recognized for the number of students she registered for a blood drive. She also enjoys participating in regular beach cleanups.

KDChi’s Southern California Alumnae Chapter shared that throughout her educational career, Salinas has truly lived the four values of our sisterhood that includes, Unity, Honesty, Integrity, and Leadership. Leslie demonstrated the importance of Unity through her involvement in Special Olympics teams, AGUILA, and as the captain of the adaptive cheerleading team, Sparkles. She displays Honesty in her strength and courage to share her intellectual disability experiences and diagnosis; she embraces who she is and is proud to share them to inspire others. Furthermore, Leslie displays Integrity in her actions with her dedication to Spread the Word to End the Word and is dedicated to removing such a hurtful word from the vocabulary of others. Finally, Leslie embodies Leadership in all of her extracurricular activities and is a leader within the Pathway Leadership Program at UCLA Extension where she helps with the creation of the Pathway Yearbook and leads campus tours for prospective students.

Leslie currently resides in Los Angeles, California and is an intern with Bright Horizon Childcare. She hopes to one day be a preschool teacher’s assistant. She will be inducted into the sisterhood at our KDChi National Conference this summer in Orlando, Florida.

Photo Credit: Leslie Salinas 

Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc. is a Latina founded, 501 c 7, national sorority who aims to achieve professional development, academic excellence, and graduation of all its members; an organization dedicated to community service to their local university communities with an emphasis on the Hispanic/Latino population.

To learn more about our sisterhood, please visit KappaDeltaChi.org or engage with us @KDChi.