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Puebla, Mexico

Diana Hoyos Lopez

Equity | Perseverance | Advocacy

Community Engagement & Research Intern

Diana is a first-generation college graduate and an alumni of Student DREAMers Alliance’s first cohort. As a DACA student, Diana faced several challenges in pursuing a higher education in South Carolina. Current South Carolina laws restrict DACA students from accessing in-state tuition and state financial aid. Diana believed for a long time she would not be able to attend college as a DACA student, but with the immense support and love she received from her family, friends, and teachers, she was able to persevere. In these moments, Diana realized that her immigration status did not define her potential and identity. Later, Diana attended Wingate University on a full-ride scholarship as a Golden Doors Scholars student. 

4 years later, Diana graduated with college honors and a Bachelor of Science in Human Services. During her time at Wingate, Diana focused her career and efforts in community health. She was a part of Interfaith America’s Faith in the Vaccine project, where she worked as an ambassador to help promote and educate about COVID-19 vaccinations in BIPOC communities. Diana continues to focus her career in researching health access disparities and advocating for equitable access to healthcare.

Community Involvement

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Saraí Meléndez

Saraí is a leader who serves her community at the intersection of heritage and an inclusive future. She advocates for the well-being of all South Carolinians through intentional, genuine, and authentic connections. Sarai is a working-class mother and a first-generation college graduate. She is honored to be making history as the first elected Latina member of the Walhalla City Council, currently serving her first term. 

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Jonathan Valadez

With a passion for people in hand, Jonathan desires to imagine and create a world that is safe for the entire range of human expression. Jonathan’s willingness to be sensitive to others stems from a fundamental conviction of individuals’ worth through the imago dei.

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Vanessa Rodríguez

Vanessa Rodriguez serves both Hispanic Alliance and LiveWell Greenville as the Community Action Coordinator in an innovative partnership funded by the 2019 BUILD Health Grant. She comes to this project with over twenty years of communications and public relationships experience in governmental agencies, corporations, and nonprofit organizations. 

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