Scholar Stories

Mariela Fernandez

Mariela Fernandez is proud of where she came from. Nicknamed “the Valley,” four hours south of San Antonio, TX, Harlingen is many things at once. Harlingen residents navigate two worlds at the same time, constantly switching between English and Spanish. Although sizable, Harlingen has the type of small-town sentiment that produces lifelong residents. Mariela was one of the few who eventually did leave, but she has never strayed far from the path that all started at a Texas Visitor’s Center.

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Linda Charmaraman

Linda Charmaraman grew up with parents who came to the U.S. with a dream of providing a good education for their children and a better life for their family. They left the comfort of familiar soil in Thailand for a life that was less than easy. Growing up in an underprivileged community in South Central Los Angeles, Linda did not think she had an opportunity to make a change. She eventually learned that she could use research to find loopholes in a change-resistant system. Linda uses data to influence policymakers and those who have the power to help youth that do not have a voice.

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Brent Langellier

Brent Langellier has always been a stickler when it comes to social justice. It has taken many forms in his life, from providing food and water to deported immigrants in Mexican border towns in Arizona to majoring in Latin American Studies to researching health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities.

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