Born in the Dominican Republic, Genoveva Abreu moved with her family to Massachusetts. At Lawrence High School, she developed the habits of service to her community that remain central to her life. A mathematics major in the College of Arts & Sciences, she was named a McNair Scholar; she balances academics and the research expectations of the McNair Program with her commitment to work and service. The Dominican Republic Service Trip in her freshman year deepened her understanding of the challenges of injustice and poverty and of Archbishop Romero’s message to “’hear the cry of those oppressed’” and to “denounce the social structures that give rise to or perpetuate the misery from which the cry arises.” Now a student leader for the Dominican Service Trip, she is also an active member of the Organization of Latin American Affairs (OLAA) and codirector of the OLAA Culture Show. She has also volunteered through PULSE to teach GED students at the Crittenden Women’s Union, worked as a teaching assistant, and tutored children. Genoveva plans to become a teacher of mathematics in an urban area and hopes she will inspire her students, “as Archbishop Romero has done for me,” to “set the world aflame.’
1. What motivated you to apply for the Romero Scholarship?
There were many motives that led me to apply for the Romero scholarship. First, there was the prestige of representing Oscar Romero’s Ideas in a society where such ideas are over looked. Second, I wanted to show that there are motivated Latino/as that care about social justice issues. Thirdly, I thought it would be a great opportunity to express my social beliefs and keep Oscar Romero’s Ideals alive.
2. What was the most memorable question from the interview and how did you respond?
My most memorable question was when the committee asked me about what part of Oscar Romero’s life do you see reflected in yours? I said, I remember saying one thing that Oscar Romero had and never gave up was hope. To me hope is such a powerful drive. It makes me always have optimism and strength to never give up regardless to how difficult the situation is.
3. How did you feel when you heard your name called as the award winner?
When I heard my name, I didn’t know what to do. I saw my mom and immediately, I felt a rush of emotions running through my body that I was unable to control. It was great… It was an amazing feeling that I wish everyone one day can experience.
4. What do you feel is your biggest responsibility as the Romero Scholarship recipient of 2007?
My biggest responsibility as the Romero Scholarship recipient of 2007 is to bring the Latino community together to fight for our right as individual and to promote awareness topics such as education, immigration and other prevailing issues in our communities.
5. What would you say to students who are thinking of applying next year?
Please do not hesitate to do so, you will never regret it. Just by applying you are keeping Oscar Romero’s ideals alive, which is really our goal.