Andrés Villeta is a Marketing Director and a leader with the National Puerto Rican Student Coalition (NPRSC), working towards different goals for the Puerto Ricans around the world. His experiences have led him to achieve many objectives for his region and his professional development. This is what he had to say to us:
“My name is Andrés Villeta Astacio and I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. After graduating from high school in May 2015, I continued my studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing in December 2018.
"During my time in UMass, I was able to continue my professional and personal development. I quickly joined the “Association of Latino Professionals For America” chapter in my business school and through them was able to help other Latinos in the university. As a member of ALPFA, I empowered other Latino students in my business school with guidance, workshops, and networking. Later on, I decided to be the Marketing Director for ALPFA to work on the chapter’s reach and visibility on the campus. This was my first experience as an active agent of change for others and sparked my search for other involvements to improve our Latino communities.
"During my time in college, I always returned on my summer breaks to Puerto Rico to get involved in the rebuilding process of the crushing socio-economic problems my island is facing. My first opportunity was with “Mentes Puertorriqueñas en Acción”, a non-profit organization that empowers young Puerto Ricans to become agents of change. I was accepted in the PARACA program and worked directly with the Foundation for Puerto Rico giving marketing assistance to small and medium local business owners on the island. Since then I continued my focus on cultivating my network of Puerto Ricans doing work to improve the conditions of the island.
"In June 2019, I was invited to join the Centro’s Youth Leadership Encuentro, co-hosted by the NPRSC in New York City. The event changed the way I approach solutions for complex socio-economic problems. Additionally, it made me realize how vast the Puerto Rican community is. I was able to meet Puerto Ricans from a wide variety of states and saw that we all have the urge to do something about our island and our power lies in finding a way to fortify our network of Puerto Ricans on and outside the island so we can funnel our efforts to build a stronger country.
"The ‘Encuentro’ shed light on the vast resources, network, and solutions we have available in our hands. Never did I think to find such a robust institution like Centro with libraries, collections, publications, research, digital content, etc. available to the general public. However, the most gratifying feeling was when I was able to become a Cultural Ambassador for Centro where I was able to join a course on self-education and preservation of Puerto Rican heritage for future generations.
"Currently, I live in Florida and continue my efforts to support local initiatives back home. I am involved with “9 Millones,” a Puerto Rican solution journalism platform that informs the 9 million Puerto Ricans around the world, giving them transparent, contextualized, and colloquial news. I support them with audiovisual productions and animation work for their journalism content. With the right information in our hands, we have a clear line of sight of what our problems are and what solutions to take.”
Villeta has taken the knowledge acquired from the New York Encuentro with the NPRSC to another level. He has expanded his network of Puerto Ricans for the improvement of the island and informs millions of Puerto Ricans around the world with important information and resources. He is also immensely proud of his title as a Puerto Rican Heritage Cultural Ambassador, which allows him to project even more knowledge on the history, culture, and traditions of Puerto Rico. The NPRSC is thrilled and privileged to have an incredible leader, such as Andrés Villeta.