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Giovanna Romero-Gil Granted Civic Leaders of Tomorrow Fellowship

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Giovanna Romero-GilA Baruch undergraduate student has been chosen to participate in Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s prestigious Civic Leaders of Tomorrow Fellowship program for the spring semester.

Giovanna Romero-Gil (’11), a student in the School of Public Affairs, is one of five coeds, out of 40 applicants citywide, to be selected for the fellowship, which promotes future leaders in public policy and advocacy by placing them in not-for-profit and community-based organizations. There they will advocate for underserved populations, particularly with regard to immigrant rights. Fellows will have an opportunity to liaison with government leaders and do research on important legislative issues.

A Colombian immigrant who came here ten years ago with her family, Romero-Gil said that she was very excited to be one of the winners because the program helps further her own professional goals and aspirations in terms of working in the public sector. “I’m very interested in bettering the education system for students in high school and middle school in New York,” she said. Another area of interest to her is, “To help families survive the crisis of adolescence and make sure that kids stay in school.”

For the fellowship, Romero-Gil is assigned to an organization in Washington Heights, where she is working mostly with Dominican immigrants. The biggest challenge facing them, she said, is a lack of affordable housing due to the continued expansion of a nearby university, and increasing rents. “Also security of the area, but the main issue is the housing problems.”

In addition to her fulltime student status and the dozen or so hours that she spends with the non-profit group, Romero-Gil puts in 15-20 hours per week as a college aid in one of the Baruch campus offices. “I have to juggle all my responsibilities at the same time,” she said.

A Queens resident, Romero-Gil transferred to Baruch from Suffolk County Community College in 2008. She chose Baruch because, she said, “I really like the diversity and I knew that it was an excellent school and it had a prestige to it.”

She has already received an Amy Hagedorn Fellowship, and will get $1,000 from her newest fellowship once she completes the assignment.
“I hope to feel that my work in this organization helps to empower the community. I’d like to have the satisfaction of knowing that the community members don’t feel threatened to approach officials, and that their voices are being heard.”