Katherine is a second year Bonner Leader at Centre College who intends to major in sociology. She is a consistent volunteer at Centro Latino and builds capacity at this local organization through fundraising and interpreting for ESL families so that they can gain access to resources that are often obstructed by language barriers. Although she recognizes the importance of service in addressing the roots of injustice for ESL and immigrant communities, Katherine understands that political advocacy carries an equal weight. She was instrumental in developing and facilitating the UndocuPeers trainings on Centre's campus in the Spring and Fall of 2018. These trainings educated the campus community on immigration issues, particularly the undocumented identity, and what role students, faculty, and staff can play as allies. She also created the student organization Refugees and Immigrants Speaking up for Equality (RISE) and led them in forming committees to help plan the Fall 2018 training. Outside of the UndocuPeers training, RISE meets consistently to discuss issues of injustice for refugee and immigrant groups and to plan further initiatives for fundraising and training. Through her work, Katherine has cultivated recognition of the humanity inherent in marginalized groups that is so often ignored.
I have always been passionate about immigrant rights. My sophomore year of high school I joined the youth activism chapter of the Tennessee Immigrant Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) in hopes of advocating for the Tuition Equality bill which would grant undocumented students in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities in Tennessee. As a DACA recipient, I have participated in United We Dream's D.C based actions demanding a clean Dream Act for a permanent solution and pathway to citizenship for undocumented youth. Once at Centre I began working with Centro Latino, a local Danville immigrant organization, aiding the immigrant community in accessing healthcare programs. Noting the need for free and accessible English lessons in the community, I began teaching introductory English lessons in spring 2018. I hope to continue them this spring. On campus, alongside some of my peers, I founded and developed the first ever Centre UndocuPeers training focused on detailing undocumented student needs to students, faculty and staff.