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2007 Romero Finalists

biographical sketches

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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." 

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A political science major and Latin American Studies minor in the College of Arts & Sciences, John Marti has held leadership positions in the AHANA Leadership Council and the Boston College NAACP chapter; he is currently director of multicultural affairs for the undergraduate government (UGBC) and NAACP Treasurer, Born in the Dominican Republic, he grew up in Rhode Island, where he first learned of Archbishop Romero through a parish priest in Pawtucket. With that knowledge, and his awareness of injustices in the Dominican Republic and elsewhere, he joined the Pedro Arrupe International Solidarity trip to Nicaragua in Spring 2006. It was a "life-changing experience" which has influenced his choices since: "it was a beginning for me, like Archbishop Romero, to find a permanent solution rooted in justice." Internships in the Rhode Island Public Defender’s office have furthered this commitment: serving as a translator for Spanish-speaking clients, he "saw injustices occur on almost a daily basis, o people who look like me and speak my language." After graduation John plans to become a lawyer, hoping "to be a voice for those . . . caught up in the legal systen without adequate representation…to be a voice for the voiceless."

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As Director of Latino Student Recruitment for the Organization of Latin American Affairs (OLAA), Amaris Modesto has organized and led workshops for urban high school students, encouraging them to attend college and to believe in and strive to realize their goals. She has also dedicated her time, through the Community Research Program, to the Allston Brighton Development Corporation. There, in the spirit of Archbishop Romero, she has worked as a "servant of the poor. . . listening to tenant complaints, counseling clients, and drafting appeals to lawyers in order to promote a just housing system." She has also worked with public health officials and local leaders on important public health issues; she is a committee member for the Greater Boston Bedbug Task Force. Recently, she was a member of a service trip to Turkey Creek, Mississippi, an area devastated by Hurricane Katrina. A double major in Communications and Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences, Amaris has held successful internship positions in newspapers and television in both Boston and New York. She plans to continue "to live as a defender of life, faith, and justice," and to become a lawyer who will promote community activism and "defend those less able to defend themselves."

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