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Oct. 11, 2019

My name is Irina Barrera and I graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) with a bachelor’s degree from the Women’s Studies department in 2012. The Women's Studies Department at UNLV prepared me with the skills necessary to work as a Youth Worker in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Specifically, I worked with documented and undocumented Latin@ youth and was able to serve and advocate for/with them in their high school. While getting my degree I learned about intersectionality and how systematic oppression appears within various institutions, including schools. Using this knowledge I was able to create programs that supported our youth socially, emotionally and academically. I was able to produce interventions that built stronger connections between the parents, community and the school. Recently, I was accepted into the Master of Social Work (MSW) program and am constantly using the critical thinking skills and my feminist consciousness to learn and question racist, sexist and hetero-normative practices that are produced in the classroom. I am learning therapy skills within my MSW program, however when I graduate I will be even more prepared to work with marginalized communities as a social worker because of the skills I learned from the Women’s Studies department at UNLV.