2020-2021 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows. The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes and supports community-committed students who are changemakers and public problem-solvers at Campus Compact partner institutions. Fellows are nominated by their president or chancellor on the basis of their potential for public leadership.
Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides students with training and resources that nurture their assets and passions and help them develop strategies for social change. The year-long program, named for Campus Compact founder Frank Newman, includes virtual learning opportunities and networking as part of a national network of engaged student leaders and an optional in-person convening.
Marelyn is a student leader active in addressing the pressing health and wellness demands of our state, and she blends the elements of her coursework, employment, service, and co-curricular activity together in arranging community service activities that are meaningful, relevant and life-changing. Marelyn serves as a community health advocate for Community Health Network in Indianapolis, developing relationships with Medicare and Medicaid patients who live on the near Eastside. She is also a leader of the IUPUI Alternative Spring Break Program. With these experiences—as well as her fluency in both English and Spanish–Marelyn brings diverse views together, maintains adaptability and confidence in high stress situations, and broadens her understanding of our community needs.
Growing up, I did not know that I was a minority. My environment was very fast-paced. Education was always a priority and was shown to be a privilege. I am thankful for my roots and am proud to be a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) student, which has shown me the social issues of race and oppression, and the constant need to tackle obstacles in all systems. I do not view such obstacles in a negative context; instead, as a lens to help me combat those issues for younger generations. My main developing initiative will be tackling social issues through an educational lens, leading to collaboration with communities of individuals who are experiencing such social issues. I was once told simple problems have simple solutions, but complex problems have multiple approaches and no one solution. Thus, I lead by this statement and hope to open the platform to the public to establish goals to minimize social issues.