2016 Student Speaker Panelists

Calina Lawrence

Calina Lawrence is a Senior at the University of San Francisco studying Performing Arts & Social Justice with an concentration in Music. Calina was born and raised on the Port Madison Indian Reservation in WA State and is an enrolled member of the Suquamish Tribe. Due to the continued injustices that Native American people face in the United States, Calina found that the combination of Arts & Activism would empower her in her efforts to inform people of the circumstances that exist on reservations and in urban Native communities, which is what led her to choose training from the PASJ Department at USF. The percentage of Native students on campus is drastically low but Calina uses her unique story as a way to build solidarity with students and faculty. She is also dedicated to serving greater Bay Area communities as a respectful visitor by volunteering and being active in local efforts that occur off-campus. Calina is passionate about the power and potential of using personal story as a way to create the empathy that is needed to rehumanize the systems that lead to the marginalization of underrepresented groups such as her own.

Jason Jemera

Jason is a senior Nursing major graduating at the University of San Francisco this December.  Jason grew up in the East Bay Area, California where he was immersed in issues of violence and substance abuse, influencing him to serve as an avid youth leader and public speaker. At USF, Jason discovered his passion in Spoken Word poetry and became heavily involved in various multicultural organizations such as Kasamahan and Chi Upsilon Zeta; fortifying his commitment to serving the community and promoting social justice. In 2015, he represented USF alongside the WORD Poetry Team competing in the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational at Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2016, he represented USF in the immersion trip to World Youth Day in Poland where he lived and learned among individuals from several different countries. Jason dedicates his life to helping other and hopes to pursue a career in nursing, eventually obtaining a Doctorate as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, and ultimately becoming an educator.

Erika Reyes

Erika is a Senior at the University of San Francisco Studying Sociology and Latin American Studies. She grew up in Chicago, and is the first in her family to go to college. On campus, Erika has participated in the Muscat Scholars Program for first generation students, the Esther Madriz Diversity Scholars, and in the Privett Global Service Learning Scholars in Bolivia. She is currently a Resident Adviser in Gillson Hall and the president of Latinas Unidas. Erika has also worked for the Office of Admissions since her first year at USF. Throughout her involvement on campus she has found a passion in helping people gain access to and navigate through higher education. She stays committed to this passion by mentoring new members of MSP and LU, and by helping to plan some of the programs that used to be run by the Office of Multicultural Recruitment and Retention in an effort to show the importance of having this type of outreach within the Office of Admissions. In the future, Erika hopes to positively change the education policies that affect students of all backgrounds and help them succeed in higher education.