Student &
Alumni Voices

Student and Alumni Voices, a platform for UNCG students and alumni, highlights contributions to dismantling racial inequality and racism within the United States and globally.

Featured students and alumni affirm UNCG’s values of equity, diversity, and inclusion through organizing, advocacy, art, journalism, community-engaged action, scholarship, and more. They are forging paths to racial equity and represent the next generation of leaders for a more equitable, just, and humane world.

  • Grace Acosta

    Grace Acosta is a senior double majoring in Psychology, and Integrated Professional Studies. She is wholeheartedly driven to bring change to the community at large, and shows that in a variety of ways! She is currently engaging in the Gold Experience in the Spartan Leadership Challenge serving as Coordinator of the UNCG Gold Leadership, and put forward the FaithAction International House Talent Show 2023. Additional from completing the Bronze and Silver Experiences of the SLC, Grace stays active on campus as a member of various student organization, such as the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA), the Spanish American Latino Student Association (S.A.L.S.A), and UNCG’s Psychology Club. 

    As a ChangeMaker, Grace displays values in community, commitment, and collaboration. Those who know Grace, say she “puts in an innumerable amount of time and effort into furthering and bettering the community. This is best evidenced by her current gold level project. She is going above and beyond to make an impact and raise funds to help the local community. She works tirelessly to synthesize a multitude of different perspectives and views so that everybody in the community can benefit.” Grace is devoted to inspiring change and contributing towards positive social change. 

    When asked, “why is it important to be a changemaker?” Grace proudly stated, “It is important to be a change-maker since it gives me the opportunity to always inspire and help others. Sometimes all it takes is courage and inspiration to impact someone who wants to make a difference in the community, and my goal is to always help lead and inspire others with making a positive change in the world.”

  • Odalis Peralta Paulino

    Odalis Peralta Paulino is a senior majoring in psychology, and minoring in entrepreneurship. She is incredibly dedicated to the UNCG community, and driven to bring change to the community at large! She is currently in the Bronze Experience in the Spartan Leadership Challenge, and has continued involvement with OLCE’s days of service – serving in Spartan Day of Service for two years, and our latest MLK Day of Service. As an active Spartan, Odalis is a proud member of Sisters With a Vision, and Girls Reaching Out, and holds a leadership role within S.O.C.A (Student of Caribbean Ancestry) as Community Service Chair and Fundraising Chair. 

    The traits of a change maker that Odalias displays are commitment, community, and controversy with courage. Her nominators say that her traits show up when through her passion for service and volunteering, “while also striving to make a positive impact on those around her and the community as a whole. Odalis’ outgoing personality allows her to network and make connections that transcend the constructed barriers that we all face as global citizens.” 

    When asked, “why is it important to be a changemaker?” Odalis said the following: “I believe it is important to be a change maker because it creates opportunities to make a difference in the community, and communities outside our own to increase positive change. Any small contribution is a closer step to seeing the change we want to see, whether through service, advocacy, leadership or innovation for social change.”

  • Santiago Sanabria Guzman

    Santiago is a changemaker in many ways. He strives to create community wherever he goes and is always a welcoming presence to students, staff, faculty and community members at UNCG. Santiago is from Colombia, and he’s also involved in clubs like ALPFA and Ritmo Latino. To him, a changemaker is an integral and collaborative person who seeks to create change within the community by empowering other members through creativity, education, critical thinking, and communication, all to generate a common good where we all make a difference.

    Santiago served this summer as a SECU Public Fellows Intern with the Center for New North Carolinians (CNNC), which promotes access and integration for immigrants and refugees in North Carolina by bridging newcomer populations with existing communities through direct service provision, research, and training. Santiago completed over 300 hours with CNNC working with people new to the United States, helping them get acclimated to their new home. Santiago also served as a CHANCE Mentor this summer. CHANCE is a program for Hispanic/LatinX high school students that come to UNCG and spend a week learning about the life of a college student. Santiago served as not only a mentor but a friend, a support system, and a role model to these students.

  • Kahlia Hargett

    Kahlia is a changemaker in many ways.  In her word’s “To me being a changemaker means not only making a difference in your life but being able to make a huge impact on others. I enjoy seeing people come together to make a change within their selves and their community.” On campus, Kahlia shows her leadership through involvement with the Black Student Union and by completing the Bronze and Silver levels of the Spartan Leadership Challenge. 

    This past summer, Kahlia was selected as an intern through the CSS Neuse Museum State of NC. The State of North Carolina Internship Program has been a fundamental source for nurturing the interest of NC’s best and brightest students in the area of public service. This program is instrumental in laying the foundation for future careers in state government.  

    Coordinated by the Department of Administration’s Council for Women and Youth Involvement, the State of North Carolina Internship Program offers college students across the state an opportunity to connect lessons learned in the classroom to potential career choices. Kahlia worked with Untold Stories Women & African American in Lenoir Intern – DNCR. 

Find Your Voice on Campus

Membership in the Intercultural Leadership Council (ILC) is open to any UNCG-affiliated student organization whose mission is in line with that of the Office of Intercultural Engagement — to promote, foster and encourage respect and meaningful intercultural and cross-cultural understanding and appreciation of similarities and differences

  • Zainab Adamou-Mohamed

    In Zainab’s word’s “Being a changemaker means taking the time to learn more about the issues that exist in my community and then finding ways to solve them. I do this by participating in efforts such as community service, but I am also working on developing the skills needed to … Continued

    Read More…

  • Sabinne Charles

    Being Co-President of the Students of Caribbean Ancestry organization on campus motivates me to be a leader because my heritage is a part of my life. I have always wanted to spread knowledge about the beautiful cultures within the Caribbean, and by being a leader on the executive board I … Continued

    Read More…

  • Juno Rose

    I am a student group leader because every person identifying as queer and every person alive today deserves to have a place like No Labels. Colonialism, white supremacy, homophobia, racism, xenophobia, and transphobia have blighted the world for centuries and it continues to do so. While I would love to … Continued

    Read More…

  • Terry Chavis

    My activism work focuses on decolonial practices in education (K-12 & Higher Education). I work alongside colleagues to de-center traditional practices and ideals in education and bring marginalized cultural practices to the center. One way I integrate decolonial practices into my work is through my pedagogical practices in my classroom. … Continued

    Read More…

  • Jenice Ramirez

    Jenice Ramirez is a proud Latina, roots in Puerto Rico, who began as the Executive Director of ISLA NC in 2013. She has focused on education equity, bilingualism, multiculturalism, and leadership within the Latinx community for the last 9 years. Jenice has been in the education arena for over 11 … Continued

    Read More…

  • Kesia Cedeno- Ballard

    I am a dancer, choreographer, educator and activist. I have been working as Professor Duane Cyrus’ research assistant for The Resistance Project. I am also working on my proficiency in the Theater of Movement choreographic process. I am exploring and analyzing intersectionality along with black feminist theories, to critically understand … Continued

    Read More…