Pablo Idrovo, a member of the class of 2020 and a double major in Economics and International Studies, is a dynamic campus leader who has committed himself to working for change. Pablo has served as a powerful ally for the Latinx community, both on Fairfield University's campus and in our local community. He has worked as a College Access Program Facilitator with the organization Connecticut Students for a DREAM, which brings together college and university students from across the state to advocate for the rights of undocumented youth. Pablo has proposed a research project that would address one of the most pressing needs of undocumented university students: scholarship funding to support pre-professional training. Many undocumented and DACA students are very limited in their ability to secure internships because of their documentation status or economic security issues. Pablo will work with regional higher education partners and campus stakeholders to design a subsidized internship program for students at Fairfield University, which he hopes can be replicated at neighboring institutions. Pablo is an excellent representation of the potential that Fairfield University students have to work in solidarity with local and global partners in pursuit of a more just and equitable world.
I have worked with the organization Connecticut Students for a Dream (C4D), which empowers, educates, and advocates for Undocumented people in the state of Connecticut. As a part of this organization, I have co-facilitated seminars for teachers and faculty at my University about how to best support undocumented students on campus. Additionally, I have provided college guidance to C4D in order for the organization to support undocumented high school students to have access to higher education. Internships are essential for today's job market; nonetheless, many undocumented and low-income students on college campuses cannot afford to do unpaid internships. Undocumented students cannot be legally paid and would rather prioritize working a job to pay off tuition or other expenses, than to take an unpaid internship opportunity. Therefore, I am happy to work with Fairfield University to develop a subsidized internship program. This initiative would be a grant program that would give tuition breaks to any student, depending on their need, in the semester they do an unpaid internship. I am happy to promote career preparation equity for this vulnerable population on my campus and I hope to spread this initiative to other campuses.