Mariana Grijalva

University of Houston-Downtown

Mariana Grijalva, a junior at the University of Houston-Downtown, is a student leader active in highlighting issues facing immigrants. Always a champion for the underdog, for the past three years she has worked with the Emerging Latino Leaders Institute, Mi Familia Vota, and United We Dream organizations, to learn about civic engagement and advocacy. Mariana has worked in her local community and has also visited with local and state representatives about issues such as the uncertainty surrounding DACA. Last semester she started the student organization - Gator Courage - on campus, where she focuses on encouraging her peers to speak up about issues that affect them or are important to them. Through this organization, this semester Mariana and her peers will raise awareness about environmental hazards in immigrant communities. She is passionate about helping others and believes that by working together and helping each other, people's voices can be heard.

Juan Munoz
University of Houston-Downtown

Personal Statement

I have always had a passion to help in the community, and did so while I was growing up. In high school, a guest speaker from Mi Familia Vota, a non-profit organization, helped me to see the variety of problems that many communities were facing. I began to understand the issues, such as immigrant rights, more deeply and started studying them through different perspectives. I received training in civic engagement through the Emerging Latino Leaders Institute, and learned to speak with legislators about fair treatment for immigrants in the United States. I kept fighting for immigrants in my community, especially because my parents and older sister were victims of inequality towards immigrants. Most recently, I have started my own organization on campus because I believe that it is important for young people, especially students, to stand up for issues that are important to them. Last semester we participated in a national walk-out so that people could see how communities are affected if there are no immigrants. This semester we will raise awareness about environmental issues that plague neighborhoods.

Mariana Grijalva
Accounting , minor in Criminal Justice: Class of May, 2019
written 2018

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Terrell Saunders, UNC Greensboro Lizbeth Morales, Univeristy of North Texas at Dallas Evelyn Denisse Monreal Pitones, Universidad de Monterrey Mikita Thompson, University of Baltimore Jayda Williams, University of Central Arkansas Madeline Mills, University of Central Florida Kalen Russell, University of Central Oklahoma Wanjiku Gatheru, University of Connecticut Sarah Richard, University of Dayton Liliana Diaz-Solodukhin, University of Denver Krista Smith, University of Florida Mariana Grijalva, University of Houston-Downtown Marvin Slaughter, University of Illinois at Chicago Alix Fisk, University of Kansas Cynthia Corona, University of La Verne Taryn Jones, University of Maryland Eastern Shore Stephanie Milani, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Josue Rivera Valdez, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Faith Boone, University of Miami Anna Maria Genovesi, University of Michigan-Flint Jennifer Mossgraber, University of Missouri - St. Louis Sophie Moon, University of Montana Spencer Whyte, University of Mount Union Cassandra Griffin, University of Nebraska Omaha Daniel Suber, University of North Carolina Asheville Sreevidhya (Vidhya) Balasubramanian, University of North Carolina at Charlotte Katherine Rasmussen, University of North Florida Brittaney Dyer, University of North Georgia Ashley Sánchez, University of Northern Iowa Prathm Juneja, University of Notre Dame Sabine Brown, University of Oklahoma, Tulsa Heidi Lee, University of Pennsylvania Matthew Bell, University of Puget Sound Victoria Stabile, University of Rhode Island Alicia Jiggetts, University of Richmond Josefina Jaramillo, University of San Diego Daizha Green, University of South Carolina Tiana Burgess, University of South Carolina Beaufort Michael Sullivan, University of St Thomas Wendy Hoang, University of Wisconsin - Madison Yoger Aguilar, University of Wisconsin - Parkside Zoe Betancourt, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Sydney Mastey, University of Wisconsin-Superior
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