Hometown: Queens N.Y.
High School: Bard High School Early College Queens
Intended major: Cognitive science and education major, political science minor
Possible career: Educational policy maker or cognitive psychologist
Juliana was born in Colombia and immigrated to the U.S at the age of 12. She attended Bard H.S Early College in Queens, where she earned her high school diploma as well as an associate's degree in liberal arts from Bard College. In her early college years, she designed her own independent study on the philosophy of space and time and was a representative of the learning center at her school, where she encouraged ninth and tenth grade students to take advantage of academic help opportunities from teachers and peer tutors. She was also a Spanish tutor and a member of the Bard Industrial Arts Club. Juliana was a member of the Teen Advisory Board at the Noguchi Museum in New York for a year and a film photography student at the International Center of Photography throughout her high school career. She became a volunteer and later youth staff member at a youth-and-adult-run social justice organization called Project Reach where she led anti-discrimination workshops and directed conversations about different forms of diversity across marginalized neighborhoods in New York City. In 2011, Juliana represented the National Society of High School Scholars in the annual World Diversity Leadership Summit and travelled to India as an intern for ITSA (Independent Thought & Social Action). She led workshops centered on topics of identity and social action with the aim of promoting critical thinking and social awareness among young Indian students. In her junior year she also visited the international middle school that she attended as a new immigrant in New York to explain the high school application process to parents and students that were new to the American education system. Juliana remains passionate about diversity and social justice, especially about educational access and opportunities offered to immigrants in the U.S. She is also interested in cognitive development and learning processes and environments from a scientific and social standpoint.