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2009 Romero Finalists

biographical sketches

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Jeans Santana's return journeys to his homeland—the Dominican Republic—as a leader of the Boston College Service Immersion trip reaffirmed his understanding of the message of Oscar Romero: “The poor are the key to what the world is really like and to what the mis-sion of the Church should be.” A Sociology major in the College of Arts &Sciences and in the premedical program, Jeans has successfully com-bined a rigorous academic schedule with active participation on campus: OLAA and the AHANA Leadership Council, service trips to the Turkey Creek Initiative in post-Katrina Mississippi; educational initiatives in the Dominican Republic. He is also a member of the only all-male step-dancing team at Boston College and participated in research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute CURE program, where he concentrated on a Community Research Program project on disparities in the health care and mortality rate of Latina breast cancer patients..   

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Stephanne Andjuar is a sociology major in the College of Arts & Sciences. For Steffany, love and an understanding of children in fail-ing public schools motivated her to cofound BreechMark, a non-profit organization that seeks to alleviate educational disparities and create opportunities for children caught in an inequitable system. At Boston College she continued her concern for victims of injustice through work with PULSE and as a member of the PULSE Council; she also participat-ed in the Ghana Service Immersion trip. A McNair Scholar, motivated by her roots in the Dominican Republic she has focused her McNair research on the socio-historical transition of 1st- and 2nd-generation Dominican students in Washington Heights, NY.

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Gloria Mercedes Villanueva'sleadership potential was clear early: as a high school junior she was chosen as one of a small num-ber of Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America National Scholars. The recipient of a Gates Millennium Scholarship, at Boston College Mercedes is majoring in history and sociology and is a McNair Scholar, preparing through a program of mentoring and research for eventual doctoral study. Her goal is to become a professor of history. Her McNair research focus, on discrimination against young Hispanic males in the criminal justice system, reflects her community concerns; she is also very active in OLAA, and with L@BC (Latinos at BC) and BILAN, a regional network of Latino organizations.  

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