Scholarship Recipient, Adilene Marquez, Passionate About Social Justice Issues
Adilene Marquez, a Colorado native and current University of Colorado (CU) Boulder senior, is a wonderful example of the social justice oriented students that The Casey Feldman Foundation is proud to sponsor through their Alternative Spring Break (ASB) scholarships. Despite having a major in psychology as well as two minors in business and leadership, Adilene has made it her mission to be as passionate about social justice issues as possible. Some of her more specific social justice interests include: immigration, racism, poverty, and repairing the criminal justice system. Throughout her college career, Adilene has been involved with the Latinx activist group Umas y Mecha, the CU Boulder Honor Code, as well as the McNeil and TRIO academic programs. Adilene’s genuine care for the well-being of others has shaped many of her academic and social successes.
Coming from a working-class background, Adilene has never let her family’s financial situation deter her from achieving her dreams and being a great activist. Prior to applying for the Alternative Spring Breaks Program, Adilene’s mother was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. While numerous treatments and surgeries left her family with a significant amount of debt and their own financial difficulties, Adilene’s passion to help others still inspired her to pursue the Alternative Spring Break Program in 2017. With the help of the Casey Feldman Scholarship, she was able to make that dream a reality.
During the Spring Break of 2017, Adilene, along with a few other dedicated CU students traveled to Tucson, Arizona to participate in the Alternative Spring Breaks trip that focused on Immigration Reform. With immigration policy reform being one of her most important social justice interests, she just knew that she was meant to go on this trip. During her week of service, Adilene was able to see first-hand how immigration policies in the United States have impacted communities that are not so different from her own. One element of the ASB experience that was truly memorable for Adilene was visiting the US-Mexico border where her group was able to see the actual location where so many men, women, and children have risked their lives to find a better future within our country.
Adilene is very interested in bringing more awareness to the challenges that underrepresented students like her face on a day-to-day basis on the CU Boulder campus and within the Boulder community. A natural-born leader, she says that “Social justice issues are very important to [her] and [she] has no problem with leading the movement that brings awareness to [those issues] and opens the eyes of some people”. Having previously volunteered in the hospital where her mother was treated for cancer, as well as with the Alternatives for Youth Program, which works to prepare at risk youth for going back to school with a positive attitude, Adilene is no stranger to service work. While enduring her own hardships in life, she has spent much of her free time improving the lives of others and making the world a better place. Adilene’s values, dedication, and positive-spirit are what make her not only a wonderful human being, but also someone who Casey would be proud to have continue her legacy.