Yarik’s most recent accomplishment involves the Citizenship Course with Dr. Mara Vaughn and the Hispanic Community Empowerment Project, a student-led program that provides Hispanic adults an opportunity to attain a GED in Spanish. With a GED, these students can pursue higher paying jobs that normally require a diploma. The Citizenship Course has been so successful that many of them have received their US citizenship, including Yarik and his mother. These two programs have enabled more than 300 students to ready themselves for the US civics test and more importantly, gain social mobility by competing in the job market and furthering their education.
Yarik is also committed to advocating and promoting the interests of the student body on campus. His position as the Student Government Association Public Relations Officer allows him to contribute to the issues pertinent to his fellow classmates. Some of those issues include the broader topics that impact UNT Dallas from local, state, and federal legislation, such as DACA, tuition cost, and social issues of bullying, racism, and exclusivity.
Through his various involvements Yarik hopes to equip and empower others to not only fulfill their dreams but also move our Hispanic community to higher and greater things.
Coming to a country that has afforded me so many opportunities and the privilege to live a prosperous and ambitious life, it is important for me to give back. Whether it was a mission trip while in youth ministry, interning at a homeless shelter, or tutoring special needs individuals, the idea of empowering others has always been my heart’s passion. More specifically, the sacrifices my parents made, inspires me to serve the Hispanic community. That is why I feel it is my duty to serve others on their journey towards socioeconomic mobility.
During the past two years, my involvement with the GED and US Citizenship programs at UNT Dallas has grown my passion even more. Meeting these aspiring and dedicated students, I am reminded that I am a first-generation immigrant and a first-generation college student. As a result of this experience, I have gained so much interest and motivation to do more than ever before. Through the support and mentoring of my professors, I am diligently working towards becoming an immigration lawyer. In a world where so much is dividing our community, I will do whatever I can to keep us together, equipping Latinos to reach their dreams too.