Cal Class of 2016
Jessica Iniguez is a graduating senior at UC Berkeley majoring in Social Welfare with a minor in Education. She was born and raised in South Central, Los Angeles. As the youngest Latina daughter of three, she was able to note how her gender and ethnic identity affected the manner in which she was treated— by her family, educators, and the community that she grew up in. This inspired and led her to the path of altering the social dynamics around her through education. Jessica’s time in Berkeley has solidified the importance of advocacy and activism. She has spearheaded and volunteered in several organizations acting as both translator and mediator in immigrant and employment law firms, as well as being a teaching assistant and program leader for Berkeley Youth Alternative. She is currently working on starting a sexual awareness and harassment program for her community, while also interning at an educational policy internship in New Orleans. Being in Washington, D.C. has always been a goal, and partaking in this DC fellowship is a dream that she never believed she would be able to actuate. She hopes to spend her time there interning in an education policy center and gain the mentorship to augment her dream of making education more equitable.
Cal Class of 2016
Benedicto Llave is a graduating senior majoring in Geography, who is passionate about access to higher education, particularly for students of color. Growing up as a low-income Pilipino student, Benedicto draws his inspiration for social justice from his own experiences and those of others in his communities. His higher education access interest stems from his home at Cal, the Pilipinx Academic Student Services (PASS), serving as High School and Transfer Outreach Coordinator to provide equitable college outreach to underserved communities across California. His interest was nurtured by work with the Asian Pacific American Student Development (APASD) Office at Cal, where he developed institutional support systems for the Pil Community. He channels his energies to give back to his communities through work with the ASUC as the Pilipinx Community Senator, in collaboration with other communities of color. While at UCDC, Benedicto plans to intern at a national organization working for equitable higher education access, hoping to gain experience working at the national scale to help shape his career plans of working at a micro or macro scale making sustainable change for higher education access. Read his story.
Cal Class of 2017
Santos Vazquez will be a senior double majoring in Political Economy and Political Science. While in Washington D.C. he intends to work with a department related to economic policy. His commitment to helping society through economic means began in 2012; when he realized, that his High School graduating class would be at an economic disadvantage in regards to the cost of International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement tests. He created a fundraising club and sought to reduce these economic challenges. Six semesters at the University of California, Berkeley has allowed him to grasp a deeper understanding of the complex relationship between society, the economy, and education; which he believes to be the roots of the growing national inequality. Today, he aspires to alleviate the growing despair by focusing on economic reforms that can influence the trilateral system. Through UCDC he will obtain insight of the process that national policies undergo; he will use that knowledge to adequately prepare in law school; and, he will advocate on behalf of disadvantaged communities through a perspective that is most likely to yield results. Read his story.