Genesis Jara, a graduating senior at California State University, Long Beach, was a community-service veteran by the time she arrived on our campus, and she has been an enthusiastic and effective advocate for students at CSULB and throughout the CSU system for the entire duration of her college career. As a freshman, Genesis was an innovative and energetic community relations director for the Hispanic Students Business Association-in this role, she planned and executed 7+ community-service events during a single semester-and rose to become the association's president by her sophomore year. During this time, she also became involved with Associated Students, Inc. (ASI), serving first as a student-at-large and then as a committee vice chair for Lobby Corps. Genesis and Lobby Corps worked with legislators and mobilized students from across the vast 23-campus CSU system to successfully oppose potential tuition increases. Now, as the current president and CEO of ASI, Genesis works closely with people at all organizational levels to provide CSULB students with programs and services that promote success, foster excellence, and ensure that all students - especially those from underrepresented communities - "feel that they belong in this space."
As a first generation college student and a woman of color, I began suffering from the imposter syndrome when I entered college. I doubted my capabilities because of the community I came from and my unfamiliarity with higher education. Upon finding resources, mentors, and getting involved in student government I realized the power in my identity and the power of advocacy. I currently serve as the student body president of my university where I represent 37,000 students. The focus of my efforts center around expanding resources for historically marginalized communities, increasing campus accessibility for students with different abilities, and making our campus an inclusive and affordable environment for all students regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, or ability. On a state level, I serve as a Civic Engagement Officer for the Cal State Student Association, which represents all 480,000 students within the California State University System. I focus my efforts on increasing student civic engagement within all 23 California State University campuses, lobbying to California state legislators regarding our policy priorities, and collaboratively working with my fellow student leaders to increase the quality and affordability of education at all of our campuses.