For Annabel Barraza ’14, there is nothing like being in the heart of back-to-back national presidential elections. Fascinated by politics and grassroots organizing, she spent her junior year exploring off-campus study opportunities in Washington, DC and Ecuador and learning how different political organizations work together across national borders.
Now Barraza has her next international assignment: a Fulbright fellowship teaching and volunteering in Mexico. Her English Teaching Assistanceship involves teaching at either the university or high school level, and she also plans to serve with a local organization catering to women and children.
Barraza’s Fulbright ambitions complement her life at Scripps nicely. She’s worked with a number of student organizations that promote underserved communities – the Social Justice Network, the First Generation Program, and Scripps College Academy, among others – and her dual major in Latin American and Latino/a-Chicano/a studies led to a thesis which expands on research begun in Ecuador examining the parallel political experiences and resistance of Colombian Refugees in Ecuador Mexican immigrants in the U.S.
“I’m interested in the trajectories of immigrant families and how macroeconomic and political policies influence such movements,” she says. “I see my upcoming apprenticeship as an opportunity to catapult into something new and mysterious.”
Barraza, from Phoenix, feels well-prepared for her Fulbright adventure. She is thankful for the continued support of her parents, and says “Scripps enabled me to conquer my fears and follow my dreams.”
“I came to Scripps not fully knowing my potential, not really understanding how the next four years of my life would transform me,” she says. “The loving and thriving community of women I’ve found inspire me to not only be a better student, but a better version of myself.
“My experiences taught me to not let fear or intimidation hold me back, which is exactly why I decided to pursue the Fulbright fellowship.”