Yami Rodriguez is a student concerned with social injustices, a passionate proponent for things she values dearly. Though far away from her birthplace of Houston, Rodriguez has not left behind the influence of her heritage. By choosing her International Affairs and Latin American and Caribbean Studies major, she was able to centralize her passion and roots into a well-educated mission.
“Choosing to take on a LACS major allowed me to reconnect to my Mexican roots through an Academic perspective,” Rodriquez said. “My LACS major has given me an even stronger appreciation for my family, my values, our past and our future.”
The interdisciplinary studies which both these majors provided her gave her the opportunity to gain more in-depth insight in the current state of immigration within the United States. She realized the privilege of citizenship granted to her as she entered the University of Georgia in 2010. She received financial aid, access to a top university and “endless support for her education,” something that she saw as missing for her undocumented peers.
She then connected with Freedom University and began the journey of fighting for education equality and also served on projects with the Dream Is Now campaign even traveling to Washington to stand in the immigration reform march.
She also co-founded the Undocumented Student Alliance which serves as an on campus support group for Freedom University.
All of her work stems from her belief that education is a human right. She fights for equal access to education opportunities and her work is not lacking a long track record. Her own access to education has not been taken for granted as she excels in her studies and work.
Recently, Rodriguez has been accepted to Yale’s American Studies PhD program.
“I hope to do research on the way that we in the United States define citizenship and ‘Americanness’,” Rodriguez adds. “I specifically want to help record the fantastic activism that undocumented students have undertaken in the US southwest to combat the deportations of community members.”
With her acceptance into the program, she thanks Bethany Moreton, Pamela Voekel and Sergio Quesada for their help in achieving this honor.
Rodriguez’s passion does not stop at the activism level. Service has also been a keystone of her tenure at the university. Serving as the Executive Coordinator for IMPACT Service Breaks, she has traveled to Asheboro, N.C. and Tuscaloosa, Ala. to build homes and help with disaster relief.
Rodriguez is truly a jack of all trades, part passionate social injustice fighter, part serving volunteer and part budding scholar. She has combined her convictions with her academic fervor and has gone to new heights. LACSI would like to recognize all of her work as she continues to make her impact on the university campus and congratulate her on her acceptance into such a prestigious program.