At the age of three, Hector Salamanca Arroyo came to the United States on a tourist visa from Puebla, Mexico. It wasn’t until his last year of high school, when he was thinking about college, that his parents told him he was undocumented—and wouldn’t receive federal aid because of it.
What once seemed like only a dream became a reality for Salamanca when he applied to Drake. Now a junior studying law, politics, and society, Salamanca is on track to complete his bachelor’s degree in May 2015 and plans to continue his education to become an immigration lawyer.
Adding to his long list of honors since beginning his college career, Salamanca was recently named one of Campus Compact’s Newman Civic Fellows for 2014. This nationally recognized award honors student leaders committed to creating lasting change in communities across the country. The award was created in honor of Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders, who was a tireless advocate for the role of higher education in preparing students for active and engaged citizenship.
In particular, Salamanca has demonstrated a significant personal investment in finding solutions for college access for immigrants and Latino youth. He has committed himself to service and advocacy to create social change, speaking to Latino youth in the Des Moines area about higher education and meeting regularly with policy makers on immigration reform and the DREAM Act. For his hard work, involvement, and valuable contributions in the Des Moines community, Salamanca was awarded the Emerging Latino Leader Scholarship Award by the Iowa League of United Latin American Citizens.
“Hector embodies the Drake mission of cultivating engaged global citizens,” says Mandi McReynolds, director of community engagement and service-learning at Drake University. “We are so proud that he was selected for this national honor.”
The Newman Civic Fellows Award is generously sponsored by the KPMG Foundation.
Visit http://www.compact.org/initiatives/awards-programs/the-frank-newman-leadership-award/the-2014-newman-civic-fellows/ for a complete list of this year’s award winners.