Spring 2015| Posse Los Angeles Quarterly


Scholar Wins Grinnell College Community Engagement Award

Yesenia Ayala, a first-year Scholar at Grinnell College, recently won a Grinnell College Community Engagement Award. The extremely competitive award is given to only three students on campus who show the ability to make Grinnell, along with the Iowa community as a whole, a better place.

As a first-generation college student, Yesenia was drawn to the opportunity to intern with Al Exito, a nonprofit whose mission is to increase the graduation rates among the Latino community in Iowa. Impressed by her ideas, Al Exito’s executive director appointed Yesenia as a project manager to run workshops in a number of Iowa cities that help inform parents about their child’s education and options for academic success.

“I experienced difficulties as a young Latina trying to explain to my parents what college meant to me,” Yesenia says. “I started creating outlines for a project to get parents involved in their children's education. There is still a lot to get done, but this is the reason why I love Grinnell and am so passionate about education.”

The award from Grinnell comes with a small grant that Yesenia will use to support her projects at Al Exito. 

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