Meet senior class co-president A.J. Aldana

A.J. Aldana (Photo: Toni Bird)

Seeing the recruitment flier for Stanford Sierra Camp changed everything. Specifically, the photo of a counselor water-skiing in a chicken costume. Then-freshman ARNOLD FLORES “A.J.” ALDANA JR., ’20, thought he’d better apply. He called up his intended summer employer, a cardiovascular engineering firm, to tell them, sorry, but he wouldn’t be joining them after all.

“I think I’m going to do something kind of wild,” he explained.

His experiences at Sierra Camp, a Stanford family camp located just outside South Lake Tahoe, helped bend his career trajectory toward teaching.

A product design major and first-generation college student, Aldana says he is concerned primarily with the human side of his studies and how he can use that knowledge to inspire youth.

“This is one of my most important values in life: Once you give a little kid someone to look up to or someone to empower them, they have the potential to do anything.”

He predicts he might one day teach English or biology to sixth graders. But first, as senior class co-president, he’s got a Cabinet to run, capping a dash through campus leadership that involved fundraising for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, mentoring Pilipino high school students, being a freshman RA and serving on the sophomore and junior class Cabinets.

Learn more about Aldana on the pages of Stanford magazine.