Fernanda Maria Cerros
University of Colorado Boulder - 2026
Major: Political Science, International Affairs
Project: I am working to expand the opportunities for underrepresented members of the community to participate in community engagement.
Inspiration: I began working with an organization that focuses on resource allocation in the Latino community. This was originally what I planned on doing. I wanted to provide a resource for undocumented immigrants who couldn’t rely on government welfare programs. However, I fell in love with their model for bringing about change in their community. They focused on giving women in their community (that are passionate about change) the resources, education, and training to spearhead change initiatives. These women are women that don’t have a formal education and wouldn’t be able to bring about change if this opportunity wasn’t presented to them.
Future Goals: I think that academia is gatekeeping social change. Underrepresented members of the community without the knowledge and resources to initiate change often can’t. We are taught how to do this in college. What about people who don’t have that luxury? I want to create a permanent impact on the community. Providing a temporary service is great but change cannot be sustained that way. I want to create local leadership opportunities for those who don’t have them, creating a sustained model for social change,