An emerging student leader at Trinity College, Marlen Miranda, '20, is deeply engaged on- and off-campus with students from underrepresented backgrounds. A First-Gen mentor and advisory board member, she is also active with La Voz Latina and serves as a PRIDE mentor (Promoting Respect for Inclusive Diversity in Education). Her commitment to addressing issues of educational access and opportunity dates back to high school, when she founded Girls 4 Change, an organization helping girls learn about college, careers and professional networking. By providing information and support, she wants to inspire more young Latina women to pursue higher education and to take on leadership roles. She was recently selected for our Catalyst Leadership Corps and completed an internship with U.S. Senator Chris Murphy. Marlen's exceptional motivation and collaborative problem-solving skills, as well as her own bi-lingual/bi-cultural background, make her an outstanding advocate for the young people she seeks to empower.
Having lived in two countries with unique systems of gender, racial, and structural inequality has led me to pursue a career in social justice/human rights. When I lived in Mexico, I saw the negative effects of "machismo" and gender-based violence. In the United States, I saw this same type of gender-based inequality in the academic field. This exposure led me to create a project called "Girls 4 Change," dedicated to empowering young Latina women to pursue higher education and leadership positions. I created this project when I was a junior in high school. Since then, I have worked for a U.S. Senator and a Regional Chamber of Commerce to understand more regional and transnational human rights issues and ways we can address them. On campus, I am a part of P.R.I.D.E. (Promoting Respect for Inclusive Diversity in Education), where we seek to support first-year students who come from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. I am also a part of the College First-Generation Student Advisory Board, where we identify issues and provide input to enhance the educational experience of first-generation students.