Welcome readers to a glimpse into my journey—I, Dana Alcala, was born to the daughter of Mexican immigrants, Efrain, and Rosa Alcala in Salt Lake City, Utah. From a young age, I had this thirst for knowledge and so my curiosity propelled me to explore different areas and immerse myself in new challenges. Whether it was excelling in academic subjects or playing sports, my passion for understanding how humans connected and supported each other ignited a flame that shaped the course of my life.
I have been blessed with numerous triumphs. From academic scholarships to attend the College of Saint Benedict, to studying abroad in Chile, or embracing leadership roles within my community, I discovered that I had the power and responsibility to use my voice and influence others to contribute to a better future. I hope to graduate with a degree in Communication, Political Science, and Sociology in May of ’24.
As a Jackson Fellow this summer, I am called to serve the common good through community engagement, collective learning, and leadership and professional development. Through this cohort, I receive a stipend to engage in any organization of my choosing. Though it was difficult at first, I have Professor Pedro dos Santos to thank for willingly connecting me with Unite Cloud (he is a Unite Cloud board member). This summer I will be working closely with Natalie Copeland (the Executive Director at Unite Cloud) as my mentor to guide me in projects to help advance social justice in Central MN through actionable steps to help people know, love, and stand up for their neighbors.
Through Natalie’s connection, I also have the amazing opportunity to work with one of their partner organizations, Fe y Justicia, which is a Latinx led organization that strives to bring justice and provide kindness and services necessary to the Latinx community. As a fellow Latina, it is an honor to be able to serve a community that I share a background with. I am currently working on a project that assists our members in connecting with the Mexican Consulate to renew or acquire important documents.
This fall, I will continue my journey to advocate social justice as the Social Justice Coordinator for the Institute of Women’s Leadership at CSB. Through the extensive opportunities that I have received, I hope to inspire others to join the pursuit of justice for all. Only when we come together can we make a difference, we all have unique potential that will help us transcend boundaries and achieve greatness for the community.