Andrea Anaya-Sandoval, a second year student at Marymount University, is a passionate advocate for immigrant rights. Her leadership centers on the belief that in order to create effective change, you need the power of the people. This involves organizing within your community to inform and empower the people affected by the systems that perpetuate inequality. For the last two years, she became involved with the legislative process by conducting policy research and interning in the House of Representatives. Ultimately, she found her calling in the frontlines of the movement as an organizer. Andrea’s experience as an undocumented student has inspired her to uplift and educate undocumented students who still have not found their voice. She wants to give back to her community and create a space for undocumented high school students. Andrea believes that social change is a multi-generational movement. By educating the youth and encouraging others to stand for what they believe in, we expand a more extensive network of people ready to bring solutions that we want to see in our communities.
My passion for civic engagement and immigrant rights started in high school when I began volunteering with United We Dream. It started with community gatherings to walkouts. Soon, instead of just attending these protests, I began to lead them in my local community. From interviews to writing op-eds and sitting down with my Congressional Leaders about comprehensive immigration reform, I felt like I was no longer a victim but instead a catalyst of social change in the immigrant rights movement. After high school, I joined United We Dream Action for a phone and text banking campaign to encourage millions of Latinx voters with mixed-status families around the country to exercise their right to vote. I spent hours informing voters on voting, when, where, and most importantly, the why. I cannot vote, but by encouraging millions of others, we were able to elect candidates amongst different levels of government who would deliver on comprehensive reform to provide migrants with rights. I now hope to mentor youth in the same community where I grew up, creating networks and resources for undocumented students to achieve their goals.