In her own words
Maria Ibarra Rodriguez
I was raised in the Rio Grande Valley, TX, a border community that despite the many obstacles thrives with ingenuity, resilience and grit. However, our Hispanic and immigrant makeup has made my community the target of charged political rhetoric and reduction in funding that hurts our youth’s opportunities to succeed. Despite of being a DREAMer, I was the first in my family to obtain a high school diploma, the first to go to and graduate from a four-year institution, and I am currently a first-generation graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Management. I wanted to further my education to be better equipped to give back to my community and provide the youth in the Rio Grande Valley with opportunities to succeed by tackling systemic issues through policy changes. I hope to become a woman of intelligent action that uses analytical-based skills to uplift immigrant communities and continue to hold doors open for those that come after me.