Ana Rojas-Gabriel, Solidaridad intern
The following prompts are simple questions yet complex to answer: who am I? and where do I come from? I am Ana Rojas-Gabriel, a first-generation student at UNC-Chapel Hill. I come from my parents' hard work and their American dreams. I come from “echale ganas mija” and “sí, se puede”. From a community welcoming with open arms and rich in culture.
This school year I am returning to the SAF family as an intern for Solidaridad. Specifically, I'll be working with youth in the Levante program. I am so grateful and eager to work with SAF again as a two-time ITF alum. I truly believe in the organization's mission to uplift and educate others on matters regarding the farmworker justice movement. After having held a leadership position this summer, I wanted to continue my efforts to stay engaged with the community. I'm eager to work with Levante as it will allow me to work with youth in high school who are in the early stages of applying to institutions of higher education.
I remember being in their shoes, being overwhelmed by the questions that appeared on my college applications. Questions such as “what can you contribute to our institution?” or “what do you hope to gain?” seem quite simple now but to my younger self, I felt that I had to write a response that was an adequate reflection of myself in order to have a chance of admission. At the time, I felt a heavy weight on how I chose to respond to these questions, it would ultimately impact the direction of my future. Looking back, I would’ve advised myself to have more confidence in my work and my character. I would’ve told myself that I was enough and that things have a way of falling into place. I hope to serve as a support to the youth and encourage them to dream big. It takes a village to foster success in whatever light that may be, and I am eager to be a part of it!