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SPAA Graduate Profile: Johan Mora Valverde (BA'23)

Johan Mora Valverde (BA'23)

Name: Johan Mora Valverde
SPAA BA Grad Month/Year: May 2023 

Why did you enroll at SPAA?
Enrolling at SPAA meant accomplishing a dream as the first to graduate with a college degree. I understand the challenges of growing up in an underserved community as an immigrant. SPAA offered a way to educate me in government and the nonprofit sector to pursue advocating for policies that improve the quality of life for immigrants and other marginalized groups.  

What do you hope to accomplish with your degree?
My vision is to sit at the table where we implement policy and be the voice for immigrants and people of color at a state or federal agency.  

Favorite SPAA memory and/or most meaningful experience at SPAA?
I was a student in two courses under Dr. Davis and enjoyed every minute. The conversations on applying oneself in academics while overcoming barriers were bittersweet but necessary to accomplish goals like my internship in the United States Senate.  

Biggest challenge(s)?
As a DACA recipient, my next step is to achieve residency in the United States, which means dedicating myself to the adjustment process.  

Next steps?
Graduate! But also enjoy traveling while in my current role at a nonprofit organization.  

Advice to incoming students?
Your story is your own, be proud of who you are and where you come from. Because you can either own your story or let someone else write it for you.