Shawn Trabanino – December 2015 Elected Scholar of the Month*
2014 CHCI-PhRMA Scholar
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
School: University of California, Los Angeles
Major: B.A., Anthropology
Shawn Trabanino is currently working for The White House in the Domestic Policy Council for Higher Education. There, among other activities, he researches policy for President Barack Obama’s educational goals. Shawn recently graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles with distinguished college honors.
Shawn grew up on the east side of Los Angeles where crime, poverty, and gang activity are part of the day to day experience. Today, he attributes his childhood environment for instilling in him empathy and a commitment to social justice and human rights for all.
Shawn has advocated for better education as a community organizer, middle school teacher, and inner city youth mentor. He successfully organized protests against budget cuts at East Los Angeles College. He also taught as a part-time teacher at Emerson Middle School. At the same time, he mentored African American students from Compton, Inglewood, and Hawthorne to increase their college attendance rates.
After his educational experience, he began to approach social justice through the law. He joined the AmeriCorps’ JusticeCorps program where he worked inside a Los Angeles Superior Court. There he provided hundreds of litigants with legal aid including the collection of judgments, serving of court papers and court document completion.
Shawn is also a published research author with his manuscript entitled “Access and Utilization of Health Care Services in East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights.” In the manuscript, information is provided about potential effects of the Affordable Care Act on Latinos living in East Los Angeles. The manuscript offers politicians valuable information for providing superior health care services. MercadoFRESCO, a health justice project, utilized information from the manuscript to improve the health of communities.
Currently and as the co-founder of a non-profit organization called College Counseling Corps, Shawn currently provides free educational programs such as college personal statement workshops and mentoring. Former students he has mentored have been accepted to colleges such as UC Berkeley and UCLA.
Shawn is currently applying to law school for the 2016-17 school year. He wishes to learn how the law and policy can be used to help others, specifically for better health and educational systems. His aspiration is to work as a public interest lawyer in his community. He gives God all the glory for his achievements thus far, and hopes to continue helping others with his Christ-like philosophy of service.
*Shawn was elected as the December Scholar of the Month by the public after getting the most votes in the 2015 Scholar of the Month Special Election.