Zoe Betancourt, a first-year student at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, is an emerging student leader in multicultural mentorship and sustainable change with a focus on "U.S. and the World." This year, she is working with her first-year seminar class to develop a high school mentoring program for first-generation college students as a service-learning research project. Building on her work in high school as a mentor, she has already taken a leading role in student organizations and creating a multicultural sorority to support diverse students and combat educational inequality.
Being a freshman in college is nerve-wracking, especially when you are a minority student who goes to a heavily white populated school. Yet, in only five months, I have grown into a woman that I never thought I could be. I am one of the founding eight of the only multicultural sorority on campus that advocates for cultural competency. I also joined Women of Color and Diversity Task Force; these organizations have helped shape me into an open-minded, problem-solving individual who still has room to grow. Being in the United States during the 2016 election taught me that there are people who don't have a voice. My goal is to be that voice for those people, so they know that there are people working day and night trying to make their lives better, not only for them but for future generations. My drive for trying to make these advancements comes from my seven-year old sister, one of the smartest kids I know. I want to make sure she goes through life developing as a well-rounded individual who has the persistence and drive in order to make social changes for years to come.