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2020-2021 CHCI Child Welfare Graduate Fellow

Hometown: Chatsworth, California
School: Pepperdine University
Degree: Master of Public Policy
Placement One: Congressional Hispanic Caucus
Placement Two: U.S. Senate Committee on Finance

Marina Sangit was born in Los Angeles, California and raised by two immigrants from opposite sides of the world. A proud mixed-race Latina, she understands that her heritage as a Mexican and South Asian Indian woman gives her a unique perspective on multiculturalism. Despite having to navigate two distinct cultures at home, both of her parents instilled the importance of education.

This led her to pursue her education at UC Riverside. As a freshman, she attended a workshop where she learned about domestic violence and realized she had experienced domestic violence too. It was the education from that workshop that helped her leave her abuser and called her to action. Marina dedicated the next 3 years institutionalizing the Campus Advocacy, Resources, and Education (CARE) department, a department responsible for advocating for survivors of sexual and domestic violence and establishing sexual violence prevention education standards. While educating her campus community, Marina found that prevention education efforts were coming to students too late because many had already been impacted by violence as children. She started researching violence prevention strategies for children and her findings led her to child welfare policy.

In her pursuit of justice for children impacted by violence, Marina went on to receive her Master of Public Policy with a double specialization in State and Local Policy and American Policy and Politics from Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy. As a graduate student, she worked for Pepperdine’s Health, Wellness, and Resilience department doing mental, physical, and community health education and programming. Throughout her program, she interned at Los Angeles Board Supervisor Kuehl’s office and Senator Hertzberg’s office where she conducted research looking at public health outcomes and social policy projects. She tailored her educational and professional experiences to best prepare herself to serve vulnerable children through policy.

As the CHCI Child Welfare Graduate Fellow, Marina hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the legislative process and its relationship to policies regarding children at risk of entering the foster care system. She hopes to develop strategies for prevention and family unification.