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Juana Fonseca

Hometown: Chicago
Major: Bachelor of Science in Biology (Pre-Med Track)
Expected date of graduation: 2020

Juana Fonseca is known as a joyful and loyal friend on campus, a student with both intellect and passion for her community. A Gannon Scholar who will graduate on a pre-med track in May, Juana is a mentor to her younger peers as they transition to college, particularly those who are from immigrant backgrounds.

As a first-year student, Juana collaborated with a Loyola faculty member as a research assistant on a project focused on transnational migration. She is currently engaged in a two-year research project focused on the socio-emotional challenges facing undocumented women.

Here, Juana talks about her work on campus helping undocumented students, and what her scholarship has meant to her and her family.

What was the most meaningful volunteer, service, or student organization activity you’ve been involved in? How has it influenced you or shaped you as a person?
I have had the opportunity of serving as the Undocumented Student Programming Intern for two years at Loyola. This has given me the privilege to educate Loyola’s staff, faculty, and students during our Share the DREAM Undocumented Student Ally Trainings about different ways to support and be an ally to undocumented students on campus. I continue to see the important impact of this needed work.

Have you received any scholarship support? If so, how has it impacted your experience at Loyola?
It is because of scholarships that I was able to attend Loyola. The scholarship support that I have received has been a blessing not only in my life, but also in my family's. Coming from a low-income background, these scholarships have allowed me to continue my education without worrying about tuition for upcoming semesters. The donors of my scholarship constantly look for ways to support me and make time for me every semester. To know that there are people who care very deeply about my success is another form of support that has allowed me to thrive at my university.

What do you hope to achieve after college, and how has Loyola prepared you?
After college, I hope to attend medical school to continue working towards my goal of becoming a physician who serves and provides just, accessible health care for immigrants. Surrounded by a great amount of resources at Loyola, I have been able to build a community of faculty and professionals whom I call my mentors and guide me in every step of the way. Loyola has not only provided me with a strong educational foundation to pursue a doctorate but it has also intensified and widened my care for and with humanity.