Alejandra was born in Los Angeles, California to Salvadorian immigrants and identifies strongly with her Latin American roots. She was raised in Durham, North Carolina and obtained her BA from Elon University in International Studies and Human Service Studies with minors in Anthropology and Spanish. She has lived in Spain, Guatemala, and Chile and has worked in the areas of youth development, professional development, and immigrant rights while overseas. She was inspired to pursue Global Social Work after learning about her parents' impoverished upbringings in El Salvador and the plight of immigrants within the U.S. Her populations of interests are immigrants, minorities, LGBTQIA individuals, as well as persons with intersectional identities. In the future she hopes to work with diverse communities domestically as well as internationally with a focus in community organizing and development. She is also interested in working with children and youth in mentorship and leadership programming. As a GASP student in the MSW program she hopes to learn how to better adapt and apply her social work skills in a global setting in order to better aid her clients in the U.S or abroad.
Carolyn grew up in Saint Paul, Minnesota but has called Washington, DC home for the past eight years. She graduated from American University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Spanish/Latin American Studies. Following graduation, she spent one year living in Guatemala working on communications and donor engagement projects with Pencils of Promise, an international nonprofit organization working to increase education access and outcomes in underserved communities. She returned to DC and spent two years as a Program Assistant at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), where she supported research and human rights advocacy efforts related to U.S. policy toward Central America, regional migration and refugee issues, and U.S.-Mexico border policy. As a Global Activities Scholar, Carolyn hopes to gain skills and experience providing effective services and advocating for immigrant and refugee communities in the United States and internationally.
Erica was born and raised in Seattle and graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Latin American Studies. She became fluent in Spanish by studying in school and practicing while working in restaurants since high school. While studying Portuguese and race and class in Brazil, she developed a fluency in Portuguese. After traveling and working on international issues throughout Latin America, she took an AmeriCorps position with Public Allies in Oakland, CA working at the Berkeley YMCA Teen Center. After completing the transformative program she used the education award to take a mural painting class about the school to prison pipeline. As a Global Activities Scholar studying Community Organization with Children in Families and Society, Erica looks forward to utilizing her Spanish to fight for racial justice and educational equity in Southwest Detroit and across the global community.
Hanna grew up in Kentucky and graduated from the University of Louisville with a BA in English and Humanities and a minor in Russian studies. As an undergraduate, she worked as a volunteer and intern in a local refugee resettlement agency, which led to her decision to pursue social work as a career. During the 2016-17 academic year, Hanna lived in Minsk, Belarus as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at Minsk State Linguistic University. Hanna is excited to be pursuing her MSW with a concentration in Management. Upon graduating, she hopes to work in an administrative position at a refugee resettlement agency. She joined the Global Activities Scholarship Program in order to develop her macro social work skills while working with an international population.
Jonathan grew up in Evanston IL and graduated from Beloit College with a BA in Cultural Anthropology. After his undergrad, he worked in the AmeriCorps program, City Year Chicago, as a mentor and tutor for 9th grade English students on Chicago's Northwest side. A year later, Jonathan served for 26 months with the Peace Corps in rural Ecuador. During his time, he became inspired by grassroots, community-based organizing in a global context. His time abroad motivated him to pursue a Master of Social Work since the discipline values service as well as the importance of human relationships. He joined the Global Activities Scholars Program to continue gaining social work experience overseas and learn the tools necessary for promoting sustainable development. After completing his MSW, Jonathan wants to work as a Program Manager for an international NGO that operates primarily in Latin America. He is also interested in non-profit and social impact consulting.
Laura was born and raised in northern México, but spent every summer visiting family in Detroit, Michigan. Michigan has been her home for the past five years; she graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2016 with double majors in International Studies and Women's and Gender Studies. Following a study abroad experience in Spain, she wrote her senior independent study on immigration patterns of Latin American woman-headed migrations to Spain. Most recently, she spent ten months working as an Americorps-Public Allies member at her placement with the mental health department at ACCESS, a non-profit centered around the needs of Arab-Americans in Michigan. Laura wishes to obtain her MSW in order to work with immigrant communities to advocate for a just and equitable society for all. In addition, she wishes to practically expand her academic interests of analyzing how dimensions of gender and politics transcend national borders, and affect immigrant and refugee communities. Laura is excited to travel as a part of the Global Activities Scholars program to expand her community organizing skills abroad!
Mackenzie graduated from Elon University in 2014 with a BA in International Studies. Before coming to the U-M, she worked for three years as a health outreach worker for a non-profit in North Carolina that provides health services and education to migrant Mexican farmworkers. As a Global Activities Scholar, Mackenzie hopes to gain insight into how policies and programs in foreign countries respond to immigration and the social, economic, and health challenges facing immigrants and migrant workers. In her free time, Mackenzie enjoys reading, winter sports, cycling, traveling, and eating ice cream.
Melissa grew up in Michigan and attended the University of Michigan for her undergraduate degree. She graduated in 2012 with a major in anthropology and minors in women's studies and biology. After graduating, she joined the Peace Corps (Guatemala 2013-2015) and worked in health education and promotion in a larger town in the western highlands of Guatemala. After returning to Michigan, she worked at an immigration law firm writing immigration petitions for clients looking to become permanent residents in the United States. As a part of the Global Activities Scholars Program, Melissa hopes to learn more about working with women, children and families, immigrants, and refugees in a cross-cultural social work context.
Roxana grew up in the metro-Detroit area and graduated summa cum laude from Western Michigan University with majors in Spanish and Anthropology and a minor in English. She served in the Peace Corps in Panama from 2015-2017 in the "Teaching English, Leadership, and Life Skills" sector. There she worked with local communities and NGOs to design and implement sustainable youth development workshops, courses, and camps on topics ranging from sexual education and gender equality to civic engagement and leadership. Roxana joined the Global Activities Scholars Program hoping to gain more experience working with youth development-focused community organizations in Central and South America.
Sarah grew up in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti and graduated summa cum laude from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Social Work degree with a minor in Psychology. While at Eastern, She completed her BSW field placement at Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office within Community Engagement and served as the Vice President of a student organization dedicated to combating human trafficking. During her work with restorative justice practices, she participated in a service learning course in Jamaica working with families of at-risk youth. As a Global Activities Scholar, Sarah hopes to assist with interdisciplinary community development projects that address the needs of vulnerable populations in a sustainable manner.