In spite of coming from an economically disadvantaged immigrant family, Eliza Manuela Ramirez has excelled in her pursuit of a higher education. Today, Eliza is a senior at CSU Fullerton majoring in political science and womens studies. She received awards from Phi Beta Delta, Golden Key International and Pi Sigma Alpha honor societies and is a UCLA law fellow. This summer she was one of 20 students selected nationally to attend the Public Policy and International Affairs Summer Institute at the University of Michigan.
As a bicultural, bilingual Aztec-Mexican woman, Eliza has a passion for culture and social justice. She is president of Mesa Cooperativa, which serves as an umbrella for 14 Chicano/Latino organizations on campus. She spends numerous hours volunteering at shelters for battered women, abused children and victims of sex trafficking. Eliza facilitates workshops for youth groups to promote leadership development, build self-esteem and provide educational resources for minorities.
She plans to practice civil liberties law and open up centers in low-income communities that will offer classes in bilingualism, education and legal issues.