Humans of CIRC: Wendy Galan-Ayala

August 24, 2019

How will this scholarship impact your life?

My ultimate goal is to work in health administration to be able to implement new policies or new programs to make healthcare more available to underrepresented populations. I got my bachelor’s in health advocacy, and now I’m doing a master’s in health administration. Getting this scholarship is such a huge assistance, because ever since I started college in 2015, I’ve been needing to work 2-3 jobs to sustain my education and the cost of living in Denver. Now I can work less hours and focus on my master’s.

What does immigrant rights mean to you?

I would say empowerment. Empowerment is a really strong word for me and for a lot of immigrants, because there’s that fear of being known where you live or where you’re at or who you are, but sometimes I think it takes a little more empowering to help the community come together and know that they’re not alone.

When have you felt empowered? 

I went to a protest for the detention facilities of ICE in Houston. It was with the United We Dream, and we all went from all around the US, and five of us from my job at the Gender Institute for Teaching and Advocacy. We created our posters and we stood outside the detention facility, and that was really empowering, just seeing all the millions of people that were there, and that felt really good, because you’re with your community and you know that you’re not alone.

And how does empowerment tie into your dream of health advocacy work?

Healthcare is so important, you can’t work or do a lot of things without healthcare, and a lot of times that’s not available to people, especially underrepresented populations like the LGBTQ community, immigrants, the homeless. We’re all human, but we all carry these different identities, so if I can empower people with different identities and make health assistance available to them, I want to do that. 

 — Wendy Galan-Ayala, recipient of our DACA Renewal Scholarship

This post is part of our community spotlight series, highlighting individuals that have worked with or been impacted by CIRC. Follow our series on Facebook (www.facebook.com/coloradoimmigrant) or Instagram (@co_immigrant)

To support our work helping people like Wendy, please consider donating to CIRC: https://coloradoimmigrant.salsalabs.org/donatecopy2/index.html