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Center for Human Rights and International Justice

Jessica Franco wins Romero Scholarship 2014

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Jessica Franco with her mother, Martha

On March 29, 2014, Boston College junior Jessica Franco was awarded the prestigious Archbishop Oscar A. Romero Scholarship Award, which is in its 22nd year.  Jessica is affiliated with the Center for Human Rights and International Justice through her work with the Center’s Migration and Human Rights Project (MHRP).  The award, named in honor of the former Archbishop of San Salvador who was a tireless advocate for the marginalized and who was murdered in 1980, provides a scholarship of up to $25,000 to its winner.  It is awarded to a BC junior who has demonstrated superior academic achievement, extracurricular leadership, community service, and involvement with the Hispanic/Latino community and Hispanic/Latino issues both on and off campus.

Jessica traveled to Guatemala in the summer of 2013 in conjunction with the Center’s MHRP, under the supervision of Center Associate Director Prof. Brinton Lykes.  Jessica, a double major in economics and theology with an international studies minor, initiated research in Guatemala on exploring the transnational nature of remittances and debt.  Now back from studying abroad in Ecuador in the fall of 2013, Jessica is planning a senior thesis next year revolving around the research she began in Guatemala with the MHRP. 

In her speech at the award ceremony, Jessica thanked Prof. Lykes for her continued support and helped close her speech with the following:

“I am privileged to be a representative of Father Romero’s mission. It will be an honor for me to go forth and fight for his life’s work by standing up for others who don’t have a voice and striving against the inequalities that are reproducing systems which hinder people’s rights. By following his legacy I will be the voice for those who are voiceless and will work for justice for our people because my greatest reward is being a woman for others.”

Please join the Center in congratulating Jessica on her award and offering her best wishes for continued success.

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Jessica Franco with Center Assoc. Director Brinton Lykes