Our returned fellow Niza Castañeda Carranza was recognized with the Medalla al Mérito Juventud Regia (Medal of Merit for Youth from Monterrey) 2016 in Monterrey, Mexico. Niza has “demonstrated her interested in social wellbeing through her great work with education and human rights. Niza should be an example for other young people from Monterrey for her academic background and actions supporting human rights. Congratulations!”
Niza served with America Solidaria from September 2015 to September 2016. Niza’s project in Virginia with Ayuda focused on legal representation of low-income migrants and asylum seekers as well as social services to victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, infant abuse, and human trafficking. 70% of Ayuda’s clients are of Hispanic origin with the other 30% coming from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. Regardless of their immigration status, migrants have human rights according to U.S. law. Given their lack of knowledge about this and existing procedures due to a complex migration system and language barriers, Niza’s support was key in helping support migrant populations in accessing justice.
During a Sesión Solemne of the Cabildo November 29th, Niza was awarded the prize. We are so proud of her and all of our fellows for their tremendous commitment to service – this recognition is well deserved!