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The merit-based Leadership Scholars Program works to support and empower the Latinx community.News | Notre Dame News

Since 2016, the Latino Institute at the University of Notre Dame has supported students through its unique Latino Studies Scholars Program. Merit-based leadership scholarships for undergraduates are designed to attract and form key leaders who work to support and empower the Latino community.

Community leadership will guide the selection process. “Scholars should have a track record of creating some kind of solution or project at home, at church, or in a community school,” said Paloma García López, an associate his director of the Latino Institute. increase. “It is not a requirement of our program that our students be Latino, but many of them grew up in heavily Latino areas of the country. It is aimed at.”

The Latino Studies Scholars Program supports students in a number of ways, including $25,000 in annual scholarships. $5,000 per summer for internships, conferences, and study abroad for three summers. Curriculum and study opportunities. networking opportunities; and mentoring.

There are currently 29 scholars, and Garcia-Lopez said the goal is to grow the program to 64 scholars.

“Here at the Institute, we are their cheerleading section,” Garcia Lopez said. “We also place a lot of emphasis on getting students involved while they are here in Notre Dame and feeling really passionate about the mission of Notre Dame and the community here.

“Professor Luis Fraga is the thought leader behind this program and the only nationally known merit-based one to use leadership as a selection criterion.”

Andy de la Garza of the City of New York Foundation
Andy de la Garza of the City of New York Foundation

As scholars, sophomores Andrés de la Garza, Jasmine Peña Ramírez, and Nadocelli Arredondo worked with the Latino Studies Institute to find internships aligned with their career interests and support the Latinx community.

De la Garza, a business analytics and English major from San Antonio, Texas, is a New York City nonprofit organization that provides financial support to other nonprofits with the goal of improving the quality of life for all New Yorkers. I did an internship at the foundation. He spent summers living in New York City, analyzing census data to support the New York City Foundation. “I am truly grateful for the networks and connections that the Latino Studies Scholars Program has given me,” said de la Garza.

“Paloma has been very helpful. She is someone I can talk to about anything related to school, and she has also helped me with the application process for this internship, including writing my resume,” de la Garza said. said.

Peña Ramirez, a political science major from Cumbria, California, interned at the Hope Border Institute in El Paso, Texas. “My internship gave me the experience of directly serving immigrants recently released from detention camps,” Peña Ramirez said. “I have also been to Mexico many times and have had the opportunity to see the immigration process from that side.”

Jasmine Peña Ramirez, Hope Border Institute
Jasmine Peña Ramirez, Hope Border Institute

For Peña Remirez, the internship experience was motivating. “The internship solidified my path. My goal is to go to law school and eventually run for public office.”

She said the opportunity to meet former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro and former U.S. Congressman Luis Gutierrez through the scholarship program had an impact. “Hearing them talk about their political experiences and college experiences and how they had very difficult goals to achieve made me realize I wasn’t the only one in the place. I can get through it and achieve my goals.It has given me an example of a leader.”

A film, television, and theater major with a minor in Latino Studies from Las Vegas, Arredondo said her internship at Univision allowed her to interact with important people in the community. “I got to meet so many people in positions of power in Las Vegas,” she said. She said, “I was able to meet members of Congress, councilors, and councilors from other districts. It was really nice to see them firsthand and hear about their initiatives and ideas.”

Univision's Nadhsheri Arredondo
Univision’s Nadhsheri Arredondo

She plans to look for career opportunities behind the camera, but gained experience on camera during her internship. “I’m more of an engineer, so it was my first time being on camera.”

According to García López, the Latino Institute also arranges excursions for scholars, including a trip to Chicago to see a performance by the Mexican Folk Dance Company, the Mexican Museum and later artists. Includes a trip to the Pilsen district to see. – Activities like guided street mural tours, trips to the El Paso border.

Peña Remirez and Arredondo said their group trip to Pilsen last year was very productive.

“I felt at home, surrounded by what I grew up with. We visited the National Museum of Mexico and had our guide show us various graffiti art and murals around Pilsen,” says Arrendondo. says Mr.

Peña Remirez added, “I’ve never seen a museum that honored my culture, and no place that appreciated everything about me.”

Arredondo said she was really grateful for the community she found through the scholarship program. “I found a lot of solidarity and community with Paloma, Professor Fraga, and all the others in my cohort,” she said. But I think the reason I always choose Notre Dame is because of the Institute for Latino Studies and Scholars program.I like the sense of community here.It’s so authentic, so real, so refreshing. “

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