UNT Dallas senior Yarik Molina has been selected to the 2020-21 cohort of the Newman Civic Fellows. Students selected for this national honor are leaders on their campuses who demonstrate a commitment to finding solutions for challenges facing communities locally, nationally and internationally.
Molina, a first-generation student, is a constant presence on the UNT Dallas campus. He serves the student body as the Student Government Association Public Relations Officer. He is involved in the Citizenship Course with Dr. Mara Vaughn that prepares aspiring citizens in the Dallas area to take the U.S. Citizenship test. This course has been so successful that many of them have received their U.S. citizenship, including Molina and his mother.
He is also involved in the Hispanic Community Empowerment Project, a student-led program that provides Hispanic adults an opportunity to attain a GED in Spanish. With a GED, these students can pursue higher paying jobs that normally require a diploma.
Campus Compact, a Boston-based nonprofit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education, this week announced the 290 students who will make up the 2020-21 cohort.
"Coming to a country that has afforded me so many opportunities and the privilege to live a prosperous and ambitious life, it is important for me to give back," Molina said in his Newman Civic Fellowship profile. "Whether it was a mission trip while in youth ministry, interning at a homeless shelter or tutoring special needs individuals, the idea of empowering others has always been my heart’s passion. More specifically, the sacrifices my parents made inspire me to serve the Hispanic community. That is why I feel it is my duty to serve others on their journey toward socioeconomic mobility."
Molina's position with the SGA allows him to contribute to the issues pertinent to his classmates, including broader topics that impact UNT Dallas from local, state and federal legislation, such as DACA, tuition cost and social issues.
"Yarik carries on our proud tradition of Newman Civic Fellows," UNT Dallas President Bob Mong said. "We are proud of his impact on our campus and community. Yarik is committed to advocating and promoting the interests of our student body. Through his various involvements, he also hopes to equip and empower others to not only fulfill their dreams, but move our Hispanic community to higher and greater things."
Molina is the third UNT Dallas student selected as a Newman Civic Fellow in the last year fours, joining Hector Robledo (2019-20) and Karina Judith Ortega (2017-18).
“We are proud to recognize each of these extraordinary student leaders and thrilled to have the opportunity to engage with them,” said Campus Compact President Andrew Seligsohn. “The stories of this year's Newman Civic Fellows make clear that they are committed to finding solutions to pressing problems in their communities and beyond. That is what Campus Compact is about, and it's what our country and our world desperately need.”