Mikayla Sanchez

Mikayla Sanchez

1. What motivated you to apply for the Romero Scholarship?

I first heard about the Romero Scholarship from Monetta Edwards, Director of the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics when I participated in the Jenks Leadership Program from my freshman to sophomore year.  Monetta encouraged me to research Oscar Romero’s legacy and the significance of the scholarship at BC.  As I pursued my history and sociology majors, I came to learn more and more about the impact that Oscar Romero had in El Salvador and his dedication to social justice.  Through my discussions with my fellow members in the Organization of Latin American Affairs as well as with my advisor, Eve Spangler, I began to realize how meaningful the scholarship was and how individuals who previously applied were deeply committed to Romero’s mission and bettering the greater Latino community.  I was also inspired by the tenacity of the past scholarship winners who continue to live a life for others following their achievement of being named recipients of the Oscar Romero Scholarship.

2. What was the most memorable question from the interview and how did you respond?

The most memorable question I was asked during my interview concerned issues within the Latino community.  I discussed the need for our community to support one another rather than focusing on our differences.  It is important for us as Latinos to build each other up and advocate for one another to reach levels of leadership within different organizations and career sectors.  What we can see we can be.

3. How did you feel when you heard your name called as the award winner?

When my name was called as the award winner I was shocked, grateful, appreciative, and full of emotion.  I felt so blessed to be selected as a finalist alongside Alberto and Maribel who I have had the opportunity of getting to know through the Organization of Latin American Affairs and Orientation Program, respectively.  It is such an honor to be named the 2022 recipient of the Romero Scholarship and I was overwhelmed by the love and support I received from my family, friends, and other members of the BC community that have seen me grow from being a nervous freshman to an enthusiastic junior. 

4. What do you feel is your biggest responsibility as the Romero Scholarship recipient of 2022?

After hearing from previous recipients of the Romero Scholarship, such as double eagle Arivee Vargas, I feel it is my greatest responsibility to continue to live a life committed to social justice and the betterment of those around me.  All of the work that I have done to give back to the Latino and Boston College communities does not stop after receiving this award.  I am responsible for continuing Romero’s mission in giving a voice to the voiceless and striving towards progress even if I am not here on Earth to reap the benefits of my work.

5. What would you say to students who are thinking of applying next year?

I would recommend all Latino students to apply for this meaningful and impactful scholarship next year.  If students are considering applying, I would recommend they focus on discernment and reflecting on their life experiences that have contributed to their personal identities.  This application process was an extremely formative experience for me and pushed me to think about the people and events in my life that have made me who I am and that have contributed to my personal values and moral compass.  While it is near impossible to compare to the selflessness possessed by Oscar Romero, it is beautiful to analyze how your aspirations and commitments may have corresponded to those of Saint Oscar Romero and how your future can reflect his dedication to social justice.