Ashley Sánchez is articulate, full of energy, knowledgeable and an effective communicator. She reflects the spirit of the Newman Civic Fellowship in a variety of ways evidenced through her investment of time and talent to advocate for immigrant rights and her desire to continuously improve and make the University of Northern Iowa and the Cedar Valley a better community. Ashley is a first-generation college student from a mixed status family, a McNair Scholar, and is double majoring in Psychology and Spanish. Ashley is passionate about creating change and making the world a better place. She strives to create an inclusive and caring community in order for everyone to feel welcome. Ashley is currently waiting to hear back from several graduate colleges across the country in order to pursue her Ph.D. in Sociology. She hopes that her graduate degree will help her advance her dream of advocating for and empowering undocumented citizens. Her work on campus at the Universty of Northern Iowa and in the Cedar Valley community has helped prepare Ashley for her upcoming graduate degree and her ability to make a change in the world.
I have always considered myself an advocate for the undocumented community. I come from a mixed status family, meaning that my family is made up of people with different citizenship and immigration statuses. As a proud daughter of Mexican immigrants, I stand behind the 11 million undocumented people in the United States. From a young age, I understood the harmful consequences of deportation. Similar to other immigrants in Iowa, my parents came to the United States for a better life. Mixed-status families across Iowa deserve to be protected and kept together like all other Iowan families. On campus, I started getting involved with non-profit organizations that provide resources for immigrant students and families. I have volunteered my time translating at free legal clinics, and organizing workshops that empower the immigrant community. I am not only involved in community efforts that resist harmful legislation that targets the undocumented people in Iowa, but also in efforts that advocate for pro-immigrant policies in Iowa. Without my parent's brave efforts I would not have had the opportunities to excel at the University of Northern Iowa, and I owe it to them and the 11 million undocumented people to ensure their rights remain protected.