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Elsie Almodovar-Reyes – January 2016 Scholar of the Month

2012 CHCI-ExxonMobil Scholar

Hometown:Toledo, Ohio

School:University of Toledo

Major: Psychology

Elsie Almodovar-Reyes is 21 years old and currently residing Los Angeles, California. She is participating in a year of service and works as an education coordinator at All Peoples Community Center in South Los Angeles. The majority of the people that she serves on a daily basis are minorities, and many are Latino. Her ultimate goal is to find better ways to care for and prepare Latinos in all communities and ultimately encounter a better world. She hopes to continue her education and become a community mental health counselor.

She graduated magna cum laude in May 2015 from the University of Toledo with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in Spanish. While growing up in Toledo, Ohio, she was surrounded by increasing poverty and corruption. When she started high school, she began to educate herself about human rights and structural oppression. She became involved with organizations like the Inter-Religious Task Force on Central America and the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, participating in rallies and lobbying for the rights of immigrant families.

Currently, as the Education Coordinator with the All Peoples Community Center in South Los Angeles, she is tutoring and mentoring students in the after-school program by helping them to become aware of the resources available to them in their community. Elsie is also creating an environment where Latino students can excel and feel truly prepared to go on to college and enter the work force while also being educated on issues that impact themselves and their families.

Elsie also assists in running a domestic violence support group for Spanish-speaking women in the community. This group is focused on healing and empowering women while also dealing with cultural issues of violence and equality. Lastly, she is a member of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Council at the community center. The Alliance group aims to make the community a healthier environment, acknowledging and combating that the area is a food desert due to environmental racism. Elsie is looking forward to continue making a positive impact in her community and is thankful for the support given by CHCI to earn her degree with honors.