Monday, September 19, 2011

White House Honors 2 with PA Ties

from the inbox:

The Agentes de Cambio/Agents of Change Latino Youth Roudtable is part of a series of Hispanic Heritage Month events the Administration is hosting throughout the months of September and October. The youth chosen to be highlighted as Agentes de Cambio/Agents of Change were recognized by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation for their outstanding leadership and service to the community. In addition to receiving a White House Tour, the Agentes engaged in a youth roundtable with Administration officials to share their perspective on issues affecting Latino youth today and to ask questions about how they can continue to be solution-oriented leaders in the Latino community. The Agentes de Cambio youth were also recognized by MTV T3r, MTV’s bilingual affiliate with short 45 second segments that will air on the MTV T3r channel.
Two of those honored have times to Pennsylvania, one with a Swarthmore degree:
Andrea Cornejo is a Research Assistant at KNG Health LLC, where she conducts empirical research projects to analyze the social and economic impacts of annual US health policies and regulations on various health sectors, and a LOFT Foreign Affairs Fellow for the LOFT Institute, for which she has organized the First Annual Foreign Affairs Bootcamp in Washington D.C. earlier this year. Previously, she was a Scholar at the Center for Progressive Leadership while serving as a Research Assistant at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, where she published four academic and journalistic articles on economic and political developments in the Latin American region. Prior to joining Partners of the Americas, Andrea interned at France Amerique Latine, a human rights NGO focused on Latin America based in Paris, France. There she organized several fund raising events and cultural fairs with the Latin American immigrant population. Andrea graduated with a B.A. from Swarthmore College in 2010 with a degree in Economics and Political Science, with a concentration in international development. At Swarthmore, she was the recipient of the Talisma Nasrin Community Building Award. In her free time, Andrea loves to dance salsa, read, travel, and visit her family in Miami and Peru. Andrea was born in Newark, New Jersey, and was raised in New Jersey, Miami, and Chimbote, Peru.

Her most amazing accomplishment so far has been during her time with Partners of the Americas, where she worked closely with the Partners Chapter in Texas and in Lima, Peru to build and implement a library for the Viña Vieja elementary public school in Ica, Peru. Andrea first discovered Partners of the Americas early 2008 through a Swarthmore College alumni connection. Through the Partners network later that year, she teamed up with Peruvian Texas Partners Director Iliana Diaz that same year to found and direct Project Viña Vieja (PVV) with a team of college student from Lima and support from the international NGO Partners of the Americas. PVV consisted of the implementing a school library and community center in a small, rural community in Chincha, Peru. Since then, she has ensured it’s sustainability and growth by ensuring continuous community participation and an annual group of US and local volunteers coming together to head micro-enterprise workshops, the rehabilitation of the community clinic, and successfully soliciting financial support from the local agricultural business to provide the Viña Vieja Community with running water as well as regional collaboration to promote reading and educational program in the library and community.
The other is a Carnegie Mellon student:
Rocio Garay: Rocio Garay is a rising Undergraduate Junior at Carnegie Mellon University. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s of Science in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Hispanic Studies. Ms. Garay’s active involvement in the Society of Hispanic Engineers has led to her election as External Vice President her sophomore year and as President for the upcoming year. She now leads collaboration between 10 Executive Board members. Already, she has outlined the organization’s schedule for the school year and coordinated two events with corporate sponsors and a leadership workshop with the local professional chapter that will be held within the first two months of classes. Other extracurricular involvement includes the Ballroom Dancing Competition Team and Dancers Symposium. Rocio S. Garay has been honored as a LOFT ExxonMobil Fellow, a NASA MUST Scholar, and a Carnegie Odyssey Scholar. She was recognized on the Carnegie Institute of Technology’s Dean List twice thus far. Ms. Garay’s long-term interest is focused in joining the GREEN Revolution through the manufacturing of everyday products. Taking advantage of her love of science and mathematics, she dreams to specialize in natural and sustainable technologies in continuing her education to the completion of a PhD. In her path toward a high level of expertise, she hopes to build experience in the development and application of such technologies through research and experimentation. In fact, Rocio conducted research in a nanotechnology and sustainability laboratory at NASA Ames Research Center this summer. Ms. Garay means business, in the engineering sense.

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