Amanda Brea, a sophomore at Bates College, is a leader both on the Bates campus and in the local community. Off campus, Amanda spends several hours each week working with organizations that serve low-income youth, many of them African refugees. On campus, Amanda has led efforts to support first-generation students during their first year on campus. Amanda's academic work is helping her to build skills in the arena of policy and politics, and she is considering a career that focuses on immigration issues related to women and children.
Growing up, I was forced to both experience and witness social disparities that existed in my community. The youth were targeted, instead of being protected. This reality influenced me to begin to work at local community centers' youth programs while in high school. As I transitioned to Bates, I knew that my interest revolved around being an advocate for youth and families that are underrepresented. In the past year, I have become engaged with the local Lewiston Middle School, Hillview Resource Center (located at a low-income housing community), and Maine Immigrant and Refugee Services. Through these opportunities I have been able to interact both with students and their families with concern to their academic and social success. On campus, I am presently the vice president and treasurer of Caribbean Student Association. My involvement in this club has helped me build a bridge between my community work and social justice. This year our primary goal is to provide a space for students of color to participate in the celebration of blackness and Caribbean culture. We do this by invoking controversial conversations with themes and current events that are relevant to our lives as Caribbean or marginalized students, and in actual Caribbean islands.