Nora Diana Frias is a psychology major in the College of Arts and Sciences. A longtime commitment to education for social justie, rooted in her Mexican heritage and in the experience of growing up in a border city in Texas, has led at Boston College to seek opportunities to deepen and act on that commitment. Inspied by the model of Archbishop Romero, she knows she must "speak out against what I see as unjust" because not to do so could casue "as much harm as those committing the injustice." She has been active with the Organization of Latin American Affairs (OLAA), a participant in the Pedro Arrupe service immersion trip to Chiapas, Mexico, a teaching assistant for the course in the History of Development of Racism, and codirector of programming for the Women of Color Caucus, se also studied abroad in Chile. With the goal of aiding immigrant families, she plans to do graduate study in social work and law.
1. What motivated you to apply for the Romero Scholarship?
I knew that it would be a huge honor to be recognized for service to the Latino community, especially through a scholarship named after such an inspirational man. I also had spoken to recipients from previous years and they all said that just the process of applying itself was fulfilling. I knew it would be a great time to reflect on my past three years here at BC and begin to think about my future and really just think about how I plan to carry forth Archbishop Oscar Romero’s ideas and beliefs.
2. What was the most memorable question from the interview and how did you respond?
The most memorable question from the interview was a question regarding my faith. I know that this is an area of my life that always has room for improvement. The faith of Archbishop Oscar Romero is ultimately what drove him to fight for and die for the Salvadorian people. I want my faith to be a driving force as well. This was a question that left me thinking far beyond the interview and something that I address frequently.
3. How did you feel when you heard your name called as the award winner?
Absolutely shocked… It is pretty hard to emotionally and mentally prepare yourself for something like this so I was pretty caught off guard. I then just took a quick moment to count my blessings and be thankful for everything.
4. What do you feel is your biggest responsibility as the Romero Scholarship recipient of 2006?
I really feel that the voice of one can have affects beyond what we imagine just as the voice of Archbishop Oscar Romero did. So I do feel that it is my responsibility to constantly be a voice for those suffering injustices everyday and just continue to raise awareness about important issue within our community and on a larger scale. One of the most pressing issues in my eyes is education of the youth and the need to provide equal resources and opportunities. Education is empowerment and we cannot expect to bridge some of the gaps in society until everyone is given the right to equal educational opportunities.
5. What would you say to students who are thinking of applying next year?
I would highly encourage it. You really have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain. Just learning more about the life of Archbishop Oscar Romero and all the things he stood for is rewarding in itself. Plus as I mentioned earlier it comes at a really good time when you can sit back and reflect on what you’ve done, where you come from and where you want to go.