Laura Duque-Echeverry - Serving with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity
Laura moved with her family of 5 to the United States from Colombia when she was ten years old. She is engaged in a term of national service to give back to the communities that she says helped her get to where she is at today. She is especially passionate about reducing inequity in housing because she knows first-hand the value of having a safe and comfortable place to call home. In addition to her bicultural upbringing, Laura has sought out opportunities to experience other cultures including participating in exchange programs in the Netherlands and Romania. Laura’s leadership and civic engagement experiences include regional organizer for Advocates for Youth and serving as co-president of Students United for Immigrant Equality.
Muzamil Ibrahim - Serving with MN Alliance With Youth - Promise Fellows
Ibrahim is passionate about working with youth – especially those who may be experiencing social or economic hardships. This is reflected not only with his degree in Youth Studies from the University of Minnesota, but also his work with the Restorative Justice Program, Camp Fire Minnesota and his volunteer in the Cedar-Riverside community. As Ibrahim says, he brings a variety of identities to his service including that of being an Ethiopian immigrant, a naturalized American citizen, and a member of the blind community, among others. He has shown and demonstrated his commitment to sharing and connecting people of different religions, resources, abilities and disabilities, and cultures – to serve society and help others appreciate those who have had to overcome obstacles.
Katie Galuska - Serving with Saint Joseph Worker Program
As Katie served through campus ministry at her university, she found herself drawn to serve “not as a hobby, but as a lifestyle.” With a dream to become a teacher, Katie earned her degree in elementary education with endorsements in reading and English as a second language. Katie is looking forward to spending her term of service with children and families outside a classroom learning about casework, crisis response and mediation – so she can be a more rounded teacher when the time comes. Katie has served as a Student Ambassador for Catholic Relief Services, an organization dedicated to fighting poverty; volunteered for The Well of Mercy, a home for women and children in Chicago; and created campus experiences to draw attention to the important link between climate change, food insecurity, human trafficking and migration.
Padra Xiong - Serving with College Possible
Padra is in her second year serving with College Possible Minnesota where she is taking her passion for improving the disparities in education by coaching low-income high school students on their journey to college. Padra sought out resources and support from programs like College Possible as she went on to be the first in her family to go to college so she is excited about doing the same for other students. A graduate from the College of St. Benedict, Padra is a resilient leader. She was selected to participate in the first cohort of the Center for Ethical Leaders in Action (CELA) at the College of Saint Benedict where they charted the course to support the formation of ethical women leaders in a variety of fields. Her commitment to service is demonstrated by her past roles with TRIO Upward Bound and TeenVenture. Padra is looking forward to continuing to coach students to their goals and further develop experience in education.
Alexandra Hyatt - Serving with College Health Corps
Alexandra is thrilled to serve the Community Action Center as an Americorp Vista – an organization that laid the foundation for Alexandra’s life in Minnesota after leaving Alabama to strike out on her own at the age of 17. She knows first hand what it is like to be on your own in finding a new school, getting insurance, finding housing and food. She worked the equivalent of a full-time job throughout college at Macalester as she majored in International Studies and French. Her experiences, along with the support she’s received from community organizations are her motivation to use her skills, talents and privileges to lift others up – and why she is committed to service. Alexandra often volunteers her French language translation for non-profits like The Advocates for Human Rights.