Jonathan Bonilla’s Hispanic heritage instills the values of perseverance, dedication, gratitude, and resilience

For #HispanicHeritageMonth, we’ve asked students to write about their heritage, the loved ones they share it with, and where they come from.

Meet Jonathan Bonilla, a second-year graduate student in the Bloustein School’s Master of City and Regional Planning program.

“My parents come from El Salvador and Bolivia, two culturally rich and diverse countries that I proudly represent. I had double the curiosity to learn about my cultural history, family heritage, and of course, all the different types of delicious food and snacks! Through cultural and celebratory events, we would bring together relatives and friends to bond and share community. These experiences growing up helped me learn Spanish and gave me access to a whole other world of communication and expression that I use in my work and life. Family is at the root of everything I do, without their support and love, I would not be where I am today. 

These experiences have helped shape my time at Rutgers through seeking to explore other people’s cultures that are distinct from mine and bond among our differences and similarities. These interactions would serve my desire to create community and foster an environment of inclusivity. As dreamers and doers, the values of perseverance, dedication, and gratitude come within our culture and speak about our resilience. I am proud to be who I am today and seek to uplift all Latin-American cultures at Rutgers and beyond!”