A first-generation college student and daughter of immigrants, Sandra López is deeply committed to engaging in collaborative action with others to create long-term social change to address issues of inequality, especially with regard to education and/or immigrants. Sandra knows removing barriers for immigrants to fully participating in American life and bridging the educational attainment gap are two keys to addressing income inequality, developing social equity, restoring a sense of community and mutual caring, and building full participation in our communities, economy, and democracy.
Whether she is providing college access mentoring to high school students who will also be the first in their families to go to college; tutoring a group of 2nd grade ESL boys, getting them ready for the crucial 3rd grade assessments that are often seen as predictors of long-term academic aptitude; engaging in community-based research with faculty to promote inclusivity*; translating government and other official documents for immigrants; preparing tax returns for low-income families; building community and leading other first-generation college students at Wofford; or advocating for humane immigration policies and practices with elected officials, Sandra takes action to address the root causes of inequality.
*More information on Sandra's community-based research project can be found at https://digitalcommons.wofford.edu/community/1/
I became interested in the immigration process at a young age as I watched both my parents become citizens of the United States. As I grew older I began to take more interest in the lives of undocumented immigrants as some of them were my classmates and family friends. I observed how the world treated immigrants as a group and knew something had to change for their contributions to be valued. I strongly believe it is my civic duty to work to remove barriers that keep the Latinx community from fully participating in American life.
To that end, I volunteer within the community as a tutor, translator, mentor, and tax return preparer; and advocate with elected officials. I have also served as part of a research team that gathered and analyzed phenomenological data to strengthen the connection between Latinx residents and the city of Spartanburg. On campus, I have participated in panels and organizations where I express my concerns for immigrants' rights and well-being, and inspire other students to become involved. I will continue to use my knowledge, strengths, and energy to lead us toward a more equitable society - for the Latinx community, all immigrants, and all Americans.