Randy D. Colon, a junior at Roosevelt University, is a student leader and advocate for affordable housing, health care and violence prevention. He is an Honors program student and a McNair Scholar. For the past year, Randy has worked as a research fellow at Roosevelt's Policy Research Collaborative, where he is evaluating how social sciences can be integrated with community engagement to address issues of inequalities and social justice. He is currently studying issues of equity and researching innovative solutions for affordable housing in two Chicago suburbs. Randy is also working to implement an alternative arts program in Chicago Public Schools.
My first foray into civic engagement was volunteering at DePaul University's Center for Community Research. Here, I assisted with the Violence Prevention project. This intervention provides youth in Chicago with courses on stress-coping and avoiding violence. I conducted literature reviews for grants, mapped resources, and researched ways to improve the course.
Also, I was a Summer Research Fellow with Chicago's Cancer Health Equity Collaborative. Here, I researched issues of health equity, looking especially into how social factors contribute to health inequalities. Also, I mentored high school students as they transitioned to college. To bring my work to the community, I presented my research at two symposiums geared at addressing community issues in health.
Presently, I study sociology at Roosevelt University and work as a research assistant at their policy research collaborative (PRC). I hope to merge social science research with community engagement to address issues of equity and social justice. At the PRC, I am doing this work through a variety of projects: I am helping research issues of equity in two Chicago suburbs, I am looking into innovative solutions to affordable housing, and I am making a case for the implementation alternative art programs in Chicago public schools.