Judith Vanegas – Leadership Fellow

Judith is a native of Los Angeles where she currently resides. She is a recent graduate of Gettysburg College where she double majored in Globalization Studies and Spanish. Coming from a Central American family and as a native Spanish-speaker, her love for the language has grown through travel as she loves exploring the differences in the language through other countries.  A highlight of her college experience was a social justice themed immersion trip to the Dominican Republic where she learned about the struggles of Afro-Dominicans, and Judith often served as the point of contact when communicating with members of the community. This particular experience made her realize how unaware people can be about global issues and the necessity to become educated about them. During her Junior year abroad, she spent the fall semester studying in Madrid, Spain, and the spring semester studying in Tokyo, Japan. During her time abroad, she was able to immerse herself in the language, traditions and culture of her host countries by living with host families, which she recalls being the best part of her program. These experiences fueled her interests in language, international outreach, public policy, issues of social justice, and education. Judith was able to channel some of these passions through volunteer experiences both in the communities of her college and of her host countries; she has always found volunteering important since a young age.