2013 Program: Becas Recipients 2013-14
In 2013, we received over 100 applications to the Becas Scholarship Program. We served approximately 80 students at a series of two workshops to aid students in preparing their applications. We initially had sufficient funding for fourteen students, but due to additional donations, we were able to extend scholarships to eighteen students in total.
Yatziri M. Tovar Campos
Yatziri M. Tovar Campos is an undergraduate student at The City College of New York. She is currently double majoring in Bilingual Childhood Education and Political Science. Her learning objectives come from a passion to maintain cultivate and maintain her first language in hopes of one day becoming a bilingual special education teacher for students with physical disabilities. Tovar makes her community involvement a priority in her life. Not only is she majoring in Political Science to understand how the government works, she wants to use this knowledge to help her community. She is currently a member of the New York State Youth Leadership Council and also the Cofounder and current President of The City College of New York Dream Team. Through these organizations Campos advocates for change in the immigrants rights community. Tovar’s activism has not only empowered her community but also affirms her belief and desire to pursue her college education to help others.
Irma Cruz is currently and undergraduate student at the College of Staten Island. She plans on pursuing a career as a Spanish Educator, particularly for students in English Second Language and Special Education programs. Cruz plans on using her skills to help facilitate the lives of children who come into this country not knowing the English language, to educate children who want to learn Spanish, and to enable children with disabilities to flourish. Cruz is a very dedicated and strong-willed individual. After overcoming many obstacles in her life she has taken them and used them as means of empowering herself and her community. She is a strong student activist for the immigrant’s rights community. She also participates in groups such as The Eye Openers Youth against Violence Tackling Youth Substance Abuse program. Through her energetic leadership she hopes to guide the young minds of the next generation.
Emillia Fiallo is an undergraduate at Hunter College. She is currently planning on majoring in English Adolescent Education. Despite being an undocumented student Fiallo has engaged with her community becoming a dedicated and passionate advocate for the rights of undocumented youth. Her obstacles in life have become pivotal points in her life to take a stance and work to bring about change in her community. Working in organizations such as the New York State Youth Leadership Council and Mixteca, Fiallo has engaged with her community in hopes of opening doors and creating new opportunities. She has co-founded the Brooklyn Youth Immigration Coalition and Hunter College Dream Team. Driven by her passion for she hopes to continue helping in the community and advancing the rights of undocumented youth.
Clementina Garcia is an undergraduate student at Brooklyn Community College. During her young life Garcia has witness many of the injustices immigrants endure. Her personal struggles and life experiences have motivated her to get involved with her community to create a more fair and equal space. She focuses her energy advocating for the rights of street vendors. Coming from a family of street vendors and being one herself this is a cause she holds very close to her heart. Garcia is part of the two organizations Esperanza del Barrio in Harlem and VAMOS Unidos. At these organizations she volunteers her time helping out with translations and creating events to reach out to the community. Through her engagement with the community and her passion for education she hopes to one day pursue a career in law to further help her community.
David Garcia has a strong interest and commitment to improve the Mexican Community. He is driven by his personal experience and the suffering and unjust reality of fellow Mexicans. Garcia firmly believes that through his education he will be able to help improve the Mexican Community. Currently he studies at Borough of Manhattan Community College, where he aspires to become a political economist. His desire to improve the Mexican Community has led him to join Asociación Tepeyac. Through this organization Garcia is part of a small group who advocate for the rights of undocumented youth. Although the road to college has been rocky for Garcia, he has managed to stay committed to his education. He knows that having a college degree will allow him to better serve and improve the Mexican Community.
Katherine Lopez is currently studying at John Jay College. She plans on majoring in Humanities and Justice Studies. Her major could not speak more to the commitment Lopez has towards bettering her community. Lopez’s engagement at La Union, has allowed for her to reach many Mexican immigrants who suffered from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. She has helped to bring monetary relief, translation services, media attention and awareness to the injustices committed against Mexicans who suffer from the aftermath of Sandy. Her commitment to Sandy Relief among the Mexican community reflect a larger vision Lopez has for the future. Through her leadership she has come to understand the larger issue the Mexican Community faces of lacking access to basic resources. She hopes to one day become a lawyer to fight against discrimination and injustices committed against her community. Furthermore she hopes that her educational advancement will help to break the stereotypes that surround the Mexican Community.
Manuel Castro is currently a Graduate Student at Baruch College. He will graduate this upcoming fall semester with a Masters degree in Public Affairs. Having worked more than a decade advocating for the rights of immigrants in several different areas. Castro has managed to bring change and awareness about the issues found among the immigrant community. In addition through his advocacy he has taken on many positions and honors, often being the first Latino to share some of these tittles. Currently Castro works with the New York Immigration Coalition where he works on the Immigrants Vote Campaign and Disaster Relief advocacy. Castro envisions strengthening the Mexican community through civic and electoral participation so the utter most issues can surface. Though his work and studies he hopes to continue bettering the opportunities the Mexican Community will have in the near future.
Edgar Morales is a recent High School Graduate with many dreams, goals, determination and a strong passion for education. Morales is determined to break the stereotype that Mexicans come across the border to take on low-paying jobs. His current academic achievements are proof and testimony to his character and dedication towards his education. He knows that his education will provide him the essential tools to create a better life for himself, his family, and his community. Furthermore Morles has joined Raza Youth Collective where he is growing as an individual and also creating a political conscience for himself. He is interested in the past and current sociopolitical movements that have helped to create new opportunities for the Latino community. His involvement has also sparked for him to begin advocating for the rights of immigrants. It is evident that at such a young age Morales holds has high educational expectations and a deep desire to get involved with his community.
Angy Paola Rivera
Angy Paola Rivera is currently an undergraduate at John Jay College. Due to her status she has been unable to continuously attend school. Regardless of that fact, Rivera has taken her status as a means of empowerment and becomea active in the fight for immigrant rights. She has been and continues to be a strong activist since 2009. She has found creative ways to fund her education such as making and selling “Education Bracelets” both offline and online. In 2010 Rivera created the country’s first undocumented youth advice column, motivated by her experiences and seeing the lack of information available to immigrants everywhere. Rivera not only advocates for the rights of immigrants she is also a strong advocate for woman’s rights. Becoming involved has allowed for River to grow on a personal level confronting and overcoming her own problems while at the same time speaking up for her community. She envisions a future where everyone has the same rights and is treated with respect and dignity. Majoring in Criminology her goal is to one-day work to bring justice to victims of crimes.
Alma Flores will be graduating high school this year. She is a young individual full of hope and aspirations to succeed. She is the first of her family to attend college. Coming from a humble background she has learned that education is the key to success. Her academic achievement and commitment to her education are proof of this. Furthermore she has become active in her community volunteering at a Senior Center and Cardiology Research of Maimonides Hospital. Her volunteer service has allowed for her to grow as an individual and helped break her shell and become a more confident and dynamic student. Through her engagement with the community and pursuit of a college education Flores is strongly committed to growth, community service, and educational excellence.
Denise Vivar will be a high school graduate this year. She will be the first in her family to attend college this upcoming fall. Her high academic achievements are proof of the passion and commitment she has towards education. Although she is an undocumented student, this has not held her back from being involved in the community or pursuing higher education. Even at such a young age she has managed to work with Center for Family Life and gone on to work with other fantastic organizations. She has worked with Project Youth to do community outreach around safe sex practices, helped Mayor Bloomberg’s Youth Leadership Council research, develop and implement new policies on youth health and been one of the few students chosen nationwide as a Bank of America Student Leader- all while excelling academically and maintaining exemplary grades. Vivar is highly committed to her community and more than willing to give back. She is a great student leader and committed to achieving much more in her college years.
Luba Cortez currently plans on attending John Jay College. She plans on one day becoming a criminal lawyer and also having a doctorate in sociology. Cortez educational career has been curtailed due to her immigration status. Nevertheless although many doors have closed she chose to become involved with her community and take a stance for the rights of immigrants. She currently volunteers at the Long Island Immigrant Student Advocates and is also a member of Long Island Civic Participation Project. Cortez is a strong advocate for the rights of undocumented youth in her community. She wants to help her community by making it stronger and more unified, while also creating new opportunities for all to achieve their dreams. For Cortez having received the scholarship will provide her with a chance to study and expand her intellect, and set her on a path towards a better life.
Mary Linn Hernández is a first year student at Borough of Manhattan Community College. She is currently completing an internship at Qualitas of Life Foundation.
She is the oldest of 3 siblings and the daughter of a single mother. It was very hard as an undocumented student who doesn't qualify for government assistance to pay full tuition. In high school she participated in many extra-curricular activities: she was editor-in-chief of the yearbook and student body president and also participated in the science club, chess club, drama club, and in an all girls leadership club. It was disappointing that as the yearbook’s “most likely to succeed” she was not attending college for more than a year after graduating high school. Receiving a Beca allowed her to enroll in her first semester at college.
Meet our Becari@s!