Damaris Gimenez

Saint Joseph's University

Damaris Gimenez, is a junior Philosophy major at Saint Joseph’s University (SJU) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Damaris is passionate about advocacy and social awareness. Through her work as a Bail Watch for Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts: AmeriCorps Vista, Damaris oversees bail hearings to identify bias in operations and further deliberates in ways to improve the courts and overall system. Moreover, she continues her commitment engaging with the criminal justice system as an Officer for Law Exploration Advancing Diversity through organizing programs to mobilize students of color to participate in the legal professions. In the Spring 2022 semester, she will broaden her involvement acting as a middle school mentor through the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. Working with students at an under-resourced middle school she will promote global citizenship and awareness while developing students’ critical thinking, public speaking, and research skills. As Damaris notes, “each program, class and project I’ve participated in there is a common theme of advocacy by awareness and community outreach…I try to make it a mission to inform, inspire, and be active in my community.” Through advocacy, social awareness, and collaboration, Damaris is an excellent example of SJU’s mission and the Newman Civic Fellowship’s commitment to social change.

Mark Reed
Saint Joseph's University

Personal Statement

I am a Junior at Saint Joseph’s University studying Philosophy with an interest in diversity, government, and the justice system. I have an affinity for fighting for underrepresented groups and sparking awareness. I pride myself on being an articulate black woman from Philadelphia who is able to pinpoint the unique and varied struggles of my community. My passion for civic engagement comes from my desire to learn, educate and advocate. My work for social change started in high school and expanded through my involvement as a mock trial captain, student government representative, and president of my school's chapter of the National Honor Society. As an aspiring lawyer, my passion has led to my civic engagement in areas such as community building and awareness campaigns. My approach is engaging in important dialogue that is reflective of the reality of our society and pushes others to seek substantive change for underrepresented groups. Through awareness, the community becomes more unified and focused and I believe those are the first steps in solving the rooted systemic inequalities in our society. I have participated in many small volunteer projects my whole life and I hope to bring an outspoken and challenging voice to community engagement.

Damaris Gimenez
Philosophy: Class of May 2023
written 2022

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