Woman standing outside in wintertime

Meet Alexa Alagon, a 2017 alumnus from Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines. Alexa currently resides in Boulder, CO. She currently works for the Chill Foundation and Women's Wilderness.

I currently reside on the traditional ancestral unseeded territories of the Cheyenne, Arapaho and Ute tribes in what is presently known as the Front Range of Colorado. I have the honor of working for amazing two non-profit organizations: Chill Foundation, run through Burton Snowboards, and Women's Wilderness. Both with missions to bridge the systemic and cultural barriers in outdoor experiences for underserved and historically marginalized youth.

Many people are drawn to the upper peninsula of Michigan for its magnificent waters and breathtaking coastlines. I was no exception to the magnetic power these lands hold. My time at Northern allowed me to not only explore these physical spaces for my well-being, but helped solidify the values in which I seek out a vibrant, holistic and multi-cultural community. The notable professors and advisors I had the opportunity to learn from cared so deeply about not only sharing their knowledge with us as students, but provided a space for intersectional experiences and important dialogue amidst a quickly changing world. I would like to especially honor Jessica Cruz, Sarah Mittlefehldt, Jes Thompson, Kenn Pitawanakwat and Jacquie Medina as crucial figures in my time at NMU. I have been able to take the wisdom they shared and find my passions in social justice and outdoor equity.

Seek out a mentor in a department that interests you to learn about their journey to help inspire your own. There are so many incredible folks working at NMU with valuable lessons and resources to tap into. Don’t be afraid to say hello and start those conversations.

Also, lean into and love the people around you fiercely. Those who show up for you during both the difficult and joyful moments are vital to getting you through college.

Before you graduate and leave northern Michigan, take a weekend to drive as much of the coastline of Lake Superior as you can. Explore all of the in-betweens. From the Soo to Copper Harbor, Ontanogan, and into the heart of the Ottawa National Forest. Learn from the teachings of the land and what it can provide like thimbleberries, maple syrup and morels if you can find them! Make a meal out of all these locally harvested gifts. Dive into the hidden pockets, random roadside stops, and lake-shore caverns. There is so much magic around.