Solanlly Canas, Fairfield University
Solanlly Canas, a sophomore majoring in psychology at Fairfield University, actively challenges her fellow students to address social issues and push for change. She is a member of the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network, a student organization that designs local projects to affect global problems. Solanlly planned a water quality awareness event that raised $300, providing in-home water filters to three families in the Dominican Republic. She plans to continue this project, bringing outside speakers to campus and engaging students with water-themed games and competition. She is in her second year as a Service Learning Associate, a program that supports academic service learning on campus. In that position, Solanlly accompanies other Fairfield students to local elementary schools for different service projects, and leads her fellow students in critical reflection on their service experiences. Solanlly’s community involvement has lead to an internship with the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, participating on their Community Fund for Women and Girls Grant Committee. With her passion and initiative, Solanlly inspires and leads her fellow students to greater community involvement and civic awareness.
-Jeffrey von Arx, President
I have demonstrated characteristics of being a leader in social justice issues. I have always been interested in working towards serving those in need and promoting social justice. I believe that a way of doing this is through education. An example is when I planned a water awareness event. This event was planned to promote awareness about the inequality of water in the world. I wanted to demonstrate to our campus community how we should never take anything for granted, especially something as essential as water because there are people in other parts of the world who struggle everyday to get clean water. Two speakers presented on the inequality of water and I organized a raffle to fundraise money for the Dominican Republic Mission Organization that builds water filters for families who lack basic needs in the Dominican Republic.