Eli J. & Phyllis N. Segal Citizen Leadership Program

Catherine Romero

2021 Brandeis Undergraduate Segal Fellow

Catherine Romero is a Myra Kraft Transitional Year (MKTY) Scholar at Brandeis, born and raised in Houston, Texas. She is a current third year aiming to complete majors in Sociology, African and African American Studies, and Latin American and Latino Studies. At Brandeis, she is a student worker for the Intercultural Center (ICC), a writing tutor for the MKTY Program, and a peer educator with Bridge to Wellness. Catherine has found much of her home on campus through her MKTYP cohort and members of the ICC.  Her investment to equitable education begins with the resiliency and empathy that embodies the values of her Central American background. Much of her upbringing was spent watching others and herself face challenges with the public education offered to low-income students of color. The community she found at Brandeis has empowered her to gain the tools to re-visit these experiences with a critical understanding of larger structures of inequality. 

Last summer, she was able to learn more of the potential and value of education,  through her five-week long fellowship in New York City. This experience exposed her to greater insight on the complex issues of poverty. She was also introduced to the grant making process of nonprofits that aim to fight against the different layers of poverty. During the summer of 2020, she interned for her high school supporting students with literacy exams for the upcoming school year. She was also given the opportunity to be a part of the Race Equity and Education Lab under the support and mentorship of Brandeis Professor Derron Wallace. Through this, she assisted a team of individuals committed to voicing the concerns of low-income families of color in response to a transition to virtual learning.  She aims to attend law school to gain technical skills and work alongside grassroots organizations. In the meantime, she is eager and motivated to continue learning from her mentors, advisors, community, and loved ones, on the steps towards imagining a world that offers complete liberation. Aside from this, she holds an extensive appreciation for mixing music, writing, and collecting stories. She understands these forms of art to defy concepts of time and colonialism by grounding us to moments, people, and history that reveal a greater purpose and responsibility attached to our existence.  This summer, Catherine is excited to deepen her engagement and commitment to youth experiencing the unequal realities offered within immigration, public education, or housing insecurity.