Andrea Anaya-Sandoval

Class of 2024

Student at Marymount advocates for immigrants

Politics, with a minor in Sociology

What brought you to Marymount University?

I was selected for TheDream.US Scholarship, which is a scholarship that grants money for tuition and fees to undocumented students across the country. The scholarship partnered me to Marymount University and I’ve been here ever since. At the age of five, my mother and I migrated from our home country in El Salvador. We ended up settling in Silver Spring, Md. I grew up as an undocumented individual who qualifies for the DACA program.

How did you find out about TheDream.US Scholarship?

As an undocumented student, I struggled a lot because I didn’t qualify for financial aid, FAFSA or most scholarships that were available to students because of my status. There were limited options I had for higher education, and I remember that I was so stressed at the time because I had worked so hard to go to college. And on a limb, I decided to apply to this scholarship and months later, I remember feeling so anxious because all of my friends had selected a college and I hadn’t yet. And that’s when I got the email that I got TheDream.US Scholarship to Marymount University!

Which organizations are you involved with on campus?

I’m part of the Honors Program, and I’m also serving as Treasurer for the Student Government Association and as President of the Latino Student Association. I’ve also joined the Saints Unafraid Club, which focuses on immigrant rights and advocates for the undocumented students on campus. I also volunteered with United We Dream, which is a nonprofit organization that works for immigrant rights and encourages the young people to get involved.

Earlier this year, you were selected to receive Campus Compact’s 2022-2023 Newman Civic Fellowship. How did it feel to be recognized with this honor?

The Newman Civic Fellowship is a group of 173 students across the country who are heavily involved in their communities and care about social justice issues. It’s a cohort of people who come together to learn more about how to build on their career and to how to make a change in their communities. I’m very blessed and grateful to be a part of that selective group.

What would you tell a student who wants to advocate for issues that they are passionate about?

Activism can be overwhelming at first. There’s just so many avenues to go towards. When I first started, I was so passionate about issues, such as immigration, but I didn’t know where to start. I would definitely tell people to start at the local level. Reach out to local organizations and reach out to mentors in the community, and just ask what you can do to help.