Being in higher education has given me the opportunity to meet empowering women who have been amazing role models throughout my academic journey.
I want to specifically highlight Daniela Medina, a woman, a mother, and a leader who has inspired me in many different ways by allowing me to see myself in her. Daniela took a non traditional path to education, and she has motivated me to lead by example so that I can make a difference in my community as well. Since community college, Daniela has been one of my biggest role models, and I am very grateful to have the privilege of calling her my mentor, and my friend.
Daniela graduated with a BA in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley in 2019, and is currently completing her last semester as a MSW student in the Strengthening Organizations and Communities concentration at UC Berkeley (CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2021!!). She is from Oakland, CA and has worked closely with Underground Scholars Initiative (USI) for several years supporting formerly incarcerated students like herself, and like myself as well.
In a recent interview with KQED, "Finding My Freedom Through College" Daniela gives her perspective on how education changed her life for the better. She describes the way in which reading was her escape as she faced many challenges as a youth, as well as when she found herself incarcerated. While incarcerated, Daniela took it upon herself to continue to read and educate herself which allowed her to complete her G.E.D and A.A degree. She then applied to UC Berkeley where she got accepted, and received her BA, and now her MSW.
Check out her full interview here: https://www.kqed.org/perspectives/201601140309/daniela-medina-finding-my-freedom-through-college
Congratulations Daniela, you certainly have so much to offer your family, and your community, and I am eager to see the many more accomplishments that lay ahead of you.