Jessica Ornelas

Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles

Jessica Ornelas is a sophomore Psychology major, who with tenacity and purpose,has been actively leading an effort to charter a club dedicated to advancing the community's education and activism in solidarity with the many struggling immigrants of our area, and especially those who are here without documents. She
has demonstrated a remarkable capacity for leading and organizing other students, motivating and involving faculty members, and establishing potentially productive relationships with groups at other local universities (especially Loyola Marymount) and the Southern California community (such as Border Angels). From her first days as a student, Jessica was actively involved in social justice work through our Campus Ministry program of Catholic Relief Services' global solidarity ambassadors. However, the presidential campaign of 2016 led her to sharpen her focus to the needs of immigrants in Southern California and at Mount Saint Mary's.

Ann McElaney-Johnson
Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles

Personal Statement

From a young age, I have heard countless stories of individuals perishing or being separated from their cherished ones with the ultimate goal of providing a better life for their families. I have seen how these experiences have psychologically affected the lives of children, adolescents, and adults. After watching the news every day last year, I realized I cannot let these injustices continue. I am currently starting an immigration club at my school called "Building Bridges Across Borders". My dream is to bring individuals together collaboratively, educate them on the immigration crisis, and provide direct service to immigrants. I am guided by Catholic Social Teaching Principles such as "Human rights and responsibilities", and "Solidarity with the human family, all persons without distinction." As part of Campus Ministry team, I work with Catholic Relief Services to build global solidarity, especially for migrants. I want to learn more about policy making and our representatives, to make sure that fair immigration is their top priority. I hope to work with them to bring about change on this issue locally and globally. Increasing my knowledgeable of policy will enable me to get to the roots of this problem.

Jessica Ornelas
Psychology: Class of May 2019
written 2017

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