Yessenia Santamaria

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Yessenia Santamaria is junior at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point majoring in Sociology and Spanish and pursuing a minor in Criminal Justice. She is an honors student and received the Sociology and Social Work Department's Virginia Fish Scholarship in 2016 for students who have a deep interest in women's studies and gender issues or social deviance. Yessenia's passion for social justice and gender equality stems from her upbringing in a Mexican immigrant family on the south side of Milwaukee where she witnessed acts of social injustice. She has been an active member of organizations on campus promoting diversity, inclusivity, and social justice. She is a leader on and off campus, is a voice for marginalized people, and has worked to support immigrants' rights. After graduation, Yessenia plans to work for a nonprofit organization to promote social justice in Wisconsin.

Bernie Patterson Ph.D
Chancellor
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Personal Statement

Coming from an urban city like Milwaukee, I witnessed multiple social injustices throughout my life and it motivated me to be part of that change. I came from a mother who worked two jobs to make ends meet and a father who worked in heavy labor for minimum wage. I came to campus with multiple goals in mind and with my family and my city to encourage me; I am involved with organizations like Latino Student Alliance (LSA) and Black Student Union (BSU). These organizations bring awareness of the diverse student body on campus and provide support. Being the vice president of LSA and a member of BSU, we host events every year like Celebracion Hispana and Soul Food Dinner to invite students and community members to experience music, food, and entertainment. Along with these types of events, I've helped LSA join rallies for immigrants' rights and helped BSU give a voice to those who feel victimized by racial injustices occurring on campus. The topic of immigration is very important to me, and one of my goals after college is to work within an organization like Voces de la Frontera to help claim immigrants' rights in the city of Milwaukee.

Yessenia Santamaria
Sociology and Spanish Majors and Criminal Justice Minor: Class of 2018
written 2017

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Erica Cherian, UNC Charlotte Morgan Sweere, University of Central Arkansas Andrew Aboujaoude, University of Central Florida Jaylon Thomas, University of Central Oklahoma Akshayaa Chittibabu, University of Connecticut Marie Spence, University of Denver Nicolette Duong, University of Florida Bobbie Alcanzo, University of Great Falls Eisha Khan, University of Houston-Downtown Alexis Smyser, University of Illinois at Chicago Rudy Amaya, University of La Verne Duane Belanger, University of Maine at Fort Kent Karla Casique, University of Maryland Axel Bayingana, University of Maryland Eastern Shore Sophia Lopresti, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Andrew King, University of Massachusetts Boston Callie Nunez, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Luiza Kinzerska-Martinez, University of Miami Nadine Jawad, University of Michigan Zachary Hayes, University of Michigan - Flint Gemechu Mekonnen, University of Minnesota Madison Bick, University of Missouri - St. Louis Isabel Langlois, University of Montana Shayla McGregor, University of Montana Western Sophie Ramsey, University of Mount Union Jimmy Nguyen, University of Nebraska at Omaha Shannon Bodeau, University of North Carolina Asheville Cristian Ramos, University of North Georgia Karina Judith Ortega, University of North Texas at Dallas Melanie Majeed, University of Northern Iowa Sarah Tomas Morgan, University of Notre Dame Anea Moore, University of Pennsylvania Hashaam Jamil, University of Pittsburgh Wila Matos, University of Rhode Island Edgar Chavarria, University of San Diego Emery Smith, University of South Carolina Isaac Miles, University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB) Corinne Tucker, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Richard Lee, University of Utah Rena Newman, University of Wisconsin - Madison Bianca Ruffolo, University of Wisconsin - Parkside Joanna (Jo) Niswonger, University of Wisconsin Colleges Yessenia Santamaria, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
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