Claudia Ojeda Rexach ’21 Honored as 2020 Newman Civic Fellow
As a member of the 2020 cohort of fellows, the history major will have access to training and resources that will help her serve as an effective agent of change in addressing public problems and building equitable communities.
Claudia Ojeda Rexach ’21 has been named a 2020 Newman Civic Fellow. That fellowship, which recognizes and supports students who demonstrate an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities across the United States, is a one-year experience that offers in-person and virtual learning opportunities, networking events, and mentoring. It is run by Campus Compact, a Boston-based nonprofit that works to advance the public purposes of higher education.
“Growing up in Puerto Rico, I’ve seen the ways in which my people stand up for what they believe in, even when ignored by those in power,” said Ojeda. “Local and grassroots organizations like the Colectiva Feminista and Amnesty International Puerto Rico have inspired me to strive towards becoming a civic actor and joining in on supporting the causes that I am most passionate about, making me approach leadership through a lens of passion, collaboration, and facilitation.”
In her three years at Haverford, the history major concentrating in Latin American, Iberian, and Latino studies has worked tirelessly to effect change across campus. She serves in the Historical Society and on Haverford’s Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; tutors fellow students; and is on the board of the Alliance of Latin American Students (ALAS). She has interned in the Senate of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and was one of the members of a research team in Haverford’s Migration Encounters Project, which combats misinformation about immigrants by collecting and sharing personal stories from migrants in Mexico about their immigration and deportation experiences.
“Claudia Ojeda Rexach has a dedication to social justice and public service that is driven by a deep-seated desire to make a positive difference in the world,” said President Wendy Raymond in her nomination letter. “She is a community-centered leader who has earned the respect of peers, faculty, and staff through her work on a range of meaningful projects at Haverford and beyond.”
Ojeda, who works in Haverford’s Office of Admission as both a fellow and head Access and Diversity Initiatives intern, hopes to use her Newman Fellowship to explore inequities and disparities in education, particularly as in relation to students of color.
“I’ve always thought that education is one of the most important tools we are given, and something that everyone should have access to no matter what their circumstances are,” she said. “I look forward to seeing how the Newman Fellowship is going to help me tap into this interest by providing me with the tools I need to strengthen my community development skills while recognizing the privileges that I have and allowing for others to take up space they need. I'm hoping that out of this opportunity I'll be able to not only develop community-building skills but also connect to a large network of students and professionals with similar goals as mine, so we can learn and work together to fulfill them.”
The Newman Civic Fellowship, named for Campus Compact co-founder Frank Newman, is a one-year experience emphasizing personal, professional, and civic growth. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. It is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation.