Kalina Cordero is a 2022 graduate from the University of Puget Sound of Tacoma, WA, and a 2018 graduate from Kennedy Catholic High School of Burien, WA.
Growing up, soccer and service leadership were huge parts of Kalina's life. Whether she was the scripture reader at her local Church on Sundays, singing in the choir, leading school retreats, or being the captain of her soccer team, you could always find her in roles comprised of service in the community with others.
Leadership and soccer merged in a more holistic way for Kalina during her time at the University of Puget Sound. In June 2020, she and four of her peers founded the Association of Student-Athletes of Color, an on-campus organization devoted to supporting the growth, retention, and success of student-athletes of color at the University. With supporting student-athletes at the top of her agenda, she worked as a student leader for the inaugural running of First Year Inside Puget Sound, a college transition program for incoming first-year students, many of whom were student-athletes. As a member of the women's soccer team, she served as a team captain for two years, helping lead the team to the NCAA Division III playoffs in 2022.
Kalina was selected to be the Class of 2022's Academic Convocation Speaker. Her speech focused on the theme of community, calling upon the principle of "Inafa'maolek," a value that comes from the Chamoru people of the island of Guam. It means, "to make things good for one another." In her various leadership roles, Kalina has focused on building relationships that inspire and change lives – what she believes to be at the center of work that "makes things good for one another."
Currently, Kalina is training to become a tutor educator with Ignite! Reading, a company based in the Bay Area focused on reading equity. She will also be an assistant coach for her former college soccer team. Committed to mentorship and helping people grow, she is optimistic about continuing to support others in the community.