Gabriela Varela ’20

Gabriela Varela
Gabriela is a junior majoring in Sociology, but is hoping to pursue an independent major in Ethnic Studies.

In the summer of 2017, she worked with Next Generation Scholars (NGS), a nonprofit that provides first generation, low-income students of color the resources necessary to receive a higher education, and taught key topics students of this demographic face, such as imposter syndrome, gender, sexuality and microagressions. This summer, she served as an assistant director for NGS, carrying out administrative tasks and planning logistics for the summer program. On campus, Gabriela is co-coordinator of Raíz, which mobilizes students to advocate for the rights and well-being of immigrant and refugee communities. As a Mellon Mays Fellow, she hopes to become the first in her family to graduate from college and eventually pursue a PhD in her interests of immigration and ethnic studies. Her ultimate goal is to pay forward the support and mentorship she received by sharing the resources and knowledge she learns in higher education to members of her community.