From the president

Since her arrival at John Carroll University, Melina has distinguished herself as a remarkable leader and advocate for social change both on and off campus. Melina is a junior from Painesville, Ohio pursuing majors in Political Science and Data Science in the pre-law track. Through her work with the Center for Service-Learning and Social Action, Melina has participated in a poetry group with men experiencing homelessness, worked with incarcerated youth at a Juvenile Detention Center through the Writers in Residence program, and tutored refugee youth at the Natividad Pagan International Newcomers Academy. Through JCU Campus Ministry, Melina has been a leader in the Labre Ministry, delivering hot meals and building relationships with the unhoused population of Cleveland. She is currently building out a curriculum addressing the root causes of homelessness to complement the direct service that Labre provides. Additionally, in her work as an Immigration Advocacy Intern, Melina is designing an “Undocu-Week” to educate the JCU community about immigration issues and provide ways they can advocate for change. Melina’s ability to effectively lead and engage others, her sense of social justice, and her work to understand and advocate for individuals on the margins make her a powerful advocate for change.

Alan Miciak


John Carroll University


Personal Statement

Caring and fighting for immigration rights felt acceptable to dedicate my life’s work to, because of my father’s deportation. Though as I moved through my education and advocacy, I concluded that I was fighting for people like my mother. It was the revelation that injustice can happen to anyone, and that injustice doesn't discriminate against good people. Having a moral obligation, I have to adjust and solve these broken systems, minimizing the detrimental effects. As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a public servant after hearing about the brave founding fathers in our history class and their dedication to freedom. As long as I can, I want to ensure a loving legacy for everyone, challenge what is accepted, and make a healthy and strong foundation for all those to come. My mission is to create equitable opportunities for communities and for life to be lived in abundance, not survival. To believe in the pursuit of happiness is an unalienable right for every man, woman, and child. Educating myself through academics and service is what brought me here, and it is what will continue my work, till I can pass this baton to the next generation of trailblazers.

Melina Cruz

Political Science and Data Science

John Carroll University