Hometown: El Paso, TX
High School: Burges High School
Intended Major: Political Science
Possible Career: Law or Journalism
Linda has a passion for writing and service, the two areas in which she made her mark in high school. She was editor of both her school's award-winning newspaper and the literary magazine. In addition, she was a stringer for Teen People magazine, writing stories on latino issues. Linda won the Interscholastic League Press Conference Award for best feature story in Texas and, as a freshman, won the regional Pearl Crouch Award for Best Personal Essay about her nephew who passed away.
Linda is committed to making a difference in the world and has worked to help those less fortunate that she. She directed her high school's most successful canned food drive by working with the Principal and Student Activities Manager to create a friendly class competition. She used the same strategy to organize a clothing drive for the Battered Women's Shelter's Rags to Riches program. Other community work included an awareness project for Oxfam, decorating the children's ward at the hospital for holidays, and Mustangs for Social Action. Linda was also a member of Academic Decathlon, where she won first place for her section.
Linda spent summer 2005 studying at the University of Guadalajara and visiting nearby towns in Mexico. She also had an internship with a writer from Texas Monthly who is working on a book on the murders that have occurred in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, which borders El Paso. At Swarthmore, Linda created the school's first ESL tutoring program, Club Despertar. It is targeted for Mexican immigrant children in the nearby community of Kennett Square. During the summer of 2006 Linda spent a month in Mexico City as an intern with the Dallas Morning News, covering the Mexican Presidential election. In November of 2006 she organized a week long program that involved noted speakers and a photo exhibit about the murdered women of Juarez, Mexico entitled Dust and Ashes Along the Chihuahuan Desert, Femicides of the Mexico-US Border which drew students and faculty from Swarthmore and several other universities. Linda spent her spring semester of her junior Siena, Italy.
After graduating from Swarthmore in Political Science and a minor in Latin American Studies, Linda returned to El Paso for a year where she worked for the County Attorney's Office and City Council. She worked on a gang injunction case for the County Attorney's Office and also kept watch of discriminatory immigration bills put forth in the state's capitol. For City Council, she helped organize a conference that would mark the forty-year anniversary of our nation's war on drugs. This issue is especially relevant for people living along border, as violence has engulfed El Paso's sister city of Ciudad, Juarez, Mexico, where warring drug cartels continue to terrorize this bordertown.
Linda will attend Cardozo School of Law in Manhattan in the fall of 2009.