student Spotlight

June Student Spotlight with Anabel Perez, BSPA ‘15

June Student Spotlight

Working for a Congressman and an Assemblyman, and being accepted into the prestigious NYC Urban Fellowship are no simple accomplishments for a high-GPA graduate student. But Ms. Perez has accomplished this and more from the undergraduate level. Anabel tells readers about her upcoming role as an Urban Fellow, what draws her to government work, and the highlight of her time as a BSPA student.

Congratulations on your acceptance! What facets of the fellowship are you most excited to engage in?
As an Urban Fellow, I will have the opportunity to observe the legislative process first-hand. In addition, the educational and professional development components of the program will be a life-touching experience for me. By the end of my undergraduate studies at the Baruch College School of Public Affairs, I am certain that I will have a broad and in-depth understanding of the legislative process, which will fully prepare me for successful participation as an Urban Fellow. I feel strongly that participation in this fellowship will help me to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to support my interest in attending law school.

You’ve interned in the Office of Congressman Charles B. Rangel, the Office of Assemblyman Luis R. Sepulveda, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. What is the key issue that draws you to government work? What do you hope to accomplish?
Immigration! My work thus far in the immigrant community has inspired me to attend law school in order to become an effective advocate for immigrants and the many issues that are faced daily by those who are undocumented. I want to support recent immigrants who are undocumented or in deportation proceedings since understanding their situation will give them a greater sense of control.

I could not possibly imagine being forced to leave the only home I’ve ever known simply because of how I came to the United States as a child. In the future, I hope to work alongside community-based organizations in order to improve the lives of immigrant communities by ensuring they have effective legal representation.

How has your time as a BSPA student served that interest and your aspirations thus far?
It was not until majoring in public affairs that I realized I could become an advocate myself on policies that affect undocumented youth. There are so many academically qualified and brilliant undocumented students who have been educated in New York public schools that are committed to their education and their communities.

One highlight of my time as a BSPA student was receiving a perfect score on my Public Affairs Capstone Thesis titled, ‘The Challenges of Identifying the Unidentified,’ which focused on the identity crisis undocumented immigrants have faced for decades, and how Mayor Bill de Blasio eased the problem by joining the nationwide municipal ID movement by approving a Municipal Identification Program, which launched in January 2015. My educational experiences coupled with my professional experiences opened my mind to the possibility of a career working with young undocumented immigrants on an issue I am passionate about: immigration.