Aramis Mendez, Macalester College
Aramis is a sophomore at Macalester College and a participant in the Bonner Community Scholars program. His boundless energy and passion center on immigrant and refugee rights. He currently works with a local nonprofit, The Advocates for Human Rights, conducting client intakes, serving as an interpreter, and interviewing asylum seekers. As a Geography major with a concentration in Urban Studies, he understands the importance of place and creating public places that promote democratic work. He is interested in law, government, and public policy as avenues to impact change. With an action-oriented approach, Aramis jumps into projects and tasks, is energized by opportunities and possibilities, and generates enthusiasm in others. His optimistic and embracing personality and ever-present inviting smile embrace his leadership style making him a respected leader among his peers.
-Brian Rosenberg, President
Throughout my college career, I have worked tirelessly to protect and advance human rights; the notion that all lives matter. This is evident in my work at The Advocates for Human Rights. The Advocates is a non-profit organization that works to implement international human rights standards to promote civil society and reinforce the rule of law. Their statement of purpose, “Because Every Person Matters,” is one that I live by. Using this mission as a grounding base, I have focused on immigration issues of non-citizens and refugees that come to the United States to escape harm’s way. I work as an interpreter between clients and attorneys, conduct intake interviews with immigrants and refugees to explore possible legal claims, visit immigration court, and complete country-condition research to garner evidence for the client’s case. The interdisciplinary nature of immigration keeps me motivated and inspired to fight against systematic inequalities. It is this fight that challenges the root causes of social issues. Through my experience, I have grown humble and reflective about the human experience. As a result, my involvement in the field has made me a more aware and global citizen.
-Aramis Mendez, Macalester College