CHCI- Walmart Intern
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
School: University of Arkansas
Major: Social Work
Placement: The Office of Rep. Lou Correa
Vanessa Victoria Magaña was born in Los Angeles, California. Her parents immigrated to the United States from Guatemala and El Salvador, and her family moved to Springdale, Arkansas when she was two in order to pursue job opportunities that were provided for immigrants in the late 90’s. Growing up Vanessa saw the struggles both her parents faced due financial difficulties and the language barriers at work. As the youngest child out of three, her family motivated her to seek higher education.
Vanessa is a first-generation college undergraduate student pursing her bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Psychology with a minor in Spanish at the University of Arkansas. She’s Secretary for her sorority (Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha, Inc.) and Vice President of United Greek Council on campus, working to provide Latino students with events and leadership opportunities and creating awareness about the Latino community. Vanessa volunteers with a community bi-literacy program teaching young Latino students about the importance of their heritages.
In the future, Vanessa hopes to attend graduate school right after her undergrad, and aspires to receive her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Arkansas. She’s determined to have her own clinical therapy practice and create awareness of the effects of mental health in the Latino community. As a CHCI intern, Vanessa plans to further expand her knowledge on public policies and the legislative process in order to advocate for those in need, and seeks to strengthen her connections with professional networks.