Christianie DePina, a second year student at Stonehill College, has been a powerful student leader and community activist from her first days on campus. As a First-year student she participated in citizenship clinics for local immigrant families and worked with the group Mobilizing for Change educating the community on conditions for local homeless families. She also went on one of the school's HOPE alternative Spring break trips to the Coachella Valley to build low-income housing and work with immigrants and migrant farmworkers. This year she has been a leader on campus as well, coordinating our ALANA and RISE programs as well as our student activist conference (LEAD4Justice) where she will present on the #BlackLivesMatter movement. She is well respected by faculty, staff and students and has a drive and passion for activism, and the sense of humor and temperament to be effective in her leadership.
It is hard to make a personal case for why I should receive recognition for this award--as I said above, "service work is crucial because I believe in supporting those in our community who have the least resources and political voice." I am the one grateful for service and an opportunity to help address social problems and inequality in society. Stonehill has given me opportunities to take leadership roles that not only enhance the impact I have on issues such as homelessness, anti-racism, etc. but also allow me to share my passion and skills with other budding activists. I never thought that I would have the confidence to be a leader, but now I realize a responsibility for offering guidance and inspiration for younger people and helping them develop the qualities necessary to change the world.