Aimee Benitez

Aimee Benitez (she/her) was born in Guatemala, where she lived for the first four years of her life before migrating to the U.S. She is currently at UCLA double majoring in International Development Studies and Public Affairs. Throughout her time at UCLA, Aimee has served in a wide variety of leadership roles including being a student advocate for undocumented immigrants and as a policy fellow for the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Institute where she further connects her passions for mobilization, data analysis, and research to create sustainable policy change. Between her background as a student of global relations, interests in grassroots advocacy, research experience, and incessant advocacy for development she finds that they all contribute to her deep commitment to the Advocacy Project's mission.

Saying Goodbye— My Experience with The Advocacy Project & WAP

19 Aug

As the summer is ending, As I am disembarking the last weeks of my role as a peace fellow for the Advocacy Project, I can firmly attest that this has been a life-changing personal and professional experience. From getting to capture my worthwhile experiences in succinct blogs, to engaging with other public service workers across the U.S., and even taking on important logistical work for the organization, my experiences are all a testament to the amazing summer I have had. 

My experiences this summer have confirmed and strengthened my passion for development, international work, storytelling, and public service. Intercultural communication and interaction in general are central to my identity which is why I gravitate towards non-profit work that directly bridges the gap between beneficiaries and providers. 

As I remotely tackled a new region of the world, I have learned so much about Zimbabwe vicariously through my partner’s experiences. Dawa, my fellow partner, helped me achieve a grounding experience as a remote fellow where I consistently engaged with the work happening in the field allowing me to engage more than I thought possible. 

As my experience comes to a close, my biggest skill and takeaway from this summer is the power of words and storytelling across various fields. This space and practice paved the way for life-long relationships and a cohesive learning experience, not only for fellows and staff but for partners to see the effect that their unbreakable dedication to a cause has on people thousands of miles away. All in all, it was really interesting to see the work of past fellows and also how their experiences juxtapose ours as we worked in two different eras and situations in the world. Lastly, this summer has taught me the importance of curiosity and sharing ideas— I am excited to take these skills with me wherever my trajectory is. 

The WAP girls inspire me and their qualities are something admirable we all can learn from.

Posted By Aimee Benitez

Posted Aug 19th, 2022

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