In honor of International Women’s Day 2021 on March 8, the UCLA International Institute is publishing a series of profiles of female Bruins who have overcome challenges in their quest to effect change in the world.
UCLA Global, March 12, 2021 — “I’ve thought about going to UCLA since middle school, when I was there on a field trip,” says UCLA senior Beatriz Herman. “Yet in high school, my guidance counselor never discussed college with me.”
Beatriz grew up in Ontario, California, the daughter of single mother who had moved to California from Mexico. She only found out that she was undocumented in high school, when she unsuccessfully filed a FAFSA (Free Application Form for Federal Student Aid) application.
“I found myself having to figure out everything on my own,” she remarks, “and lack of finances was always a factor.”
Today, this lively woman with a fun sense of humor is a talented student — although she may not always believe it. “As a non-traditional, first-generation DACA recipient,* attending UCLA had always been just a dream. No one in my family graduated from high school, let alone attended college,” she shares.
Beatriz transferred to UCLA in fall 2019 as a communications major and has impressed the faculty in her department. Says Professor Rick Dale, “Beatriz sees important linkages in her class work and the wider world [and] designs clever projects to explore these important linkages. For example, she is analyzing Google trends and book data to assess how education is being transformed by the pandemic.”
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