Junielly Vargas, a second-year student at Providence College, is a student leader actively working to close disparity gaps for underserved communities. For the last two years she has worked closely with various community organizations to have the voices of those least represented heard, including working at her local YMCA, using service learning to enhance the classroom experience for students, and serving as President on her local Youth City Council. At Providence College, Junielly is on the Executive Board of Organization of Latin American Students and serves on The Board of Representatives. She was selected to the inaugural class of Feinstein Community Fellows contributing over 80 hours of service to 360 High School creating access to college and careers for high school students in Providence. Through her work she hopes to close the economic and educational gaps for all those in underrepresented communities of color.
Growing up in my community of Lawrence, Massachusetts, I began to identify the need for change in my local YMCA. I began my role there as a summer volunteer in an English and Math proficiency program. I realized that it was difficult for the students to feel fully engaged in the sessions, so I began suggesting more interactive ways to teach our lessons. We then used the resources available to us by moving the classroom to the park and using life examples for the students to learn from. From there, I was President of the Lawrence Youth Council. Our mission was to become a bridge between the needs of the youth and I had the honor of presenting our work to the Department of Education in Washington DC. Since then I have translated my work to PC by joining the Executive Board of Organization of Latin American Students and The Board of Representatives. I also served as a Feinstein Community Fellow contributing over 80 hours of service to 360 High School working with high school youth in Providence. I coordinated college visits for 50 students to 7 schools in RI, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Our mission in both organizations is to have the voice of the underrepresented heard and understood. My years of service has taught me that every voice needs to hear and respect, for without that we are not the land of the people.