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May 2016 Junior Alumnus of the Month

Full Name: Judith Carillo

CHCI Program: R2L NextGen 2014

Current School: Segerstrom Fundamental High School

Hometown: Santa Ana, California

For high school senior Judith Carrillo, pushing forward as a young independent student has been crucial to her success. She had to learn what it meant to be truly independent at a young age when her mother was forced to leave the country because of her immigration status. Judith learned to care for herself, take on adult responsibilities, and began working as soon as she could. Her hard work and effort paid off: Judith maintains a 4.0 GPA, is in the National Honor Society and California Scholarship Federation, and was honored as a “Difference Maker” by the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce.

Not only is Judith successful academically, she has also proven her strong dedication to her community through her participation in a wide variety of activities. Judith’s commitment to political engagement is evident through her involvement in the Young Senators Program, her leadership in a Santa Ana Budget Forum, and her coordination of a mayoral youth forum during the Santa Ana Elections. In addition to these political causes, Judith is a strong advocate for adolescent girls. She founded the United Nations Foundation Girl Up club at her high school and also participated in the Speak Up class through Girls Inc. Due to her work in advocating and teaching the Girls Inc. public speaking classes, she was awarded the Soroptimist Violet Richardson Service Award for the city of Santa Ana and Tustin in 2015.

Next year Judith will begin college and hopes to study economic globalization and international social justice. Her personal experiences with immigration have inspired her to want to work with countries to improve their conditions. In the future, Judith hopes to improve relations and alliances between nations and continue to advocate for Latinos through teaching them to have a voice in their community. Despite Judith’s tough upbringing, she has managed to surpass expectations and thrive in many different aspects of her life. She credits CHCI for learning valuable leadership skills and giving her that extra push she needed to truly make a commitment to both her home community and the global community. Judith appreciates the access that the R2L NextGen program provided her. “I met amazing people with incredible stories including mentors, peers, college students, and professionals. They all encouraged me to keep working hard and advocating for issues that are important to me.”

The CHCI familia is incredibly proud of Judith for her commitment to bettering her community and relentless efforts for Latino students. We wish her good luck in her future endeavors and we are excited to see all that she will accomplish!