As the editor in chief of Temple's yearbook, a weekend social editor for The FADER, and the former campus editor of The Tab Temple, publishing powerhouse and Temple University senior Gail Vivar is using her voice for good. As a Latina and External Communications Director of AdEL (a Latinx student organization), she knows that minorities need to be better represented in local media. And she is making sure that representation happens in every project she works on.
Vivar recently shared how she is making a difference by reporting on the issues that matter, how she has worked giving back into all of her roles and her best advice for young women who are struggling to find mentors that look like them.
How are you making an impact on your local community?
I am the editor in chief of Temple’s annual yearbook for the second year in a row, the former campus editor of The Tab Temple, the External Communications Director of AdEL (a Latinx student organization), and I’m a weekend social editor for The FADER. With all my positions, I aim to inspire students who are part of my team and guide them to finding their own potential like I did. We all need an encouraging role model in college who will listen and help you when needed. I was lucky to have upperclassmen and colleagues who passed down their wisdom, so that’s something I love to do, and it’s extremely rewarding. As a Latina, I love representing my people and making sure minority student organizations are represented in our yearbook and media, and supporting them with my leadership positions.
What made you passionate about your roles?
Being at a school like mine made me realize how special it is to be different. My leadership positions allow me to make the change I’ve always wanted to make, because I’m able to advocate for minorities who are not represented enough. My passion comes from seeing how happy students are when they see their student organization being covered for the first time in our yearbook’s history. We need more minorities in charge, and I love knowing that I’m that girl who’s trying to do it all while also inspiring other women to do the same.
I was selected for most of my positions, but one of my best stories is how I landed my freelance position with The FADER. A year ago, I was the campus editor for The Tab Temple. It was around our student elections for Temple Student Government. I related a lot to one of the campaign teams, because they were treated unfairly as the only team made up of minorities. They had the best resume, and were qualified to be our next executive board. They told me about every roadblock they faced, and how other publications on campus did not publish the full story of their struggles. I published it, and I made a lot of people mad — mostly the Temple students who did not want to recognize that our campus is no different than our country. Racism is alive, and it’s up to student activists to make sure that every voice that’s been hidden is heard by everyone. The article was shared enough that the current social director of The FADER reached out. She had read my article as an alumnae from Temple. She asked me to apply, and I couldn’t believe my article resonated with someone who graduated a few years ago.
What advice do you have for women who want to make a difference at their school?
Don’t be afraid to speak up! Ask people who are in leadership positions about how they got their position and ask questions. If they don’t help, then keep asking others who could eventually give you guidance you might need! Also, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see people who look like you in leadership positions, because it could be you if you keep trying and working hard. My best advice is to be annoying and get what you want until people see your potential. If people don’t want to listen to your ideas, find ways to make the idea better or ask why your idea isn’t good. You’ll be surprised.
My mom, for sure! I’ve met many strong women in my college career and in the internships I’ve had. However, my mom is the one who taught me to get what I want and to never doubt the value of myself. She sacrificed so much to make sure my future is bright, and I can’t thank her enough.
Fairygodboss is all about celebrating female leaders — so each week, we celebrate a young woman who is making a difference in her school or local community. Do you know a student leader who’s making an impact? Celebrate her and thank her by nominating her here.