With the encouragement and support she received from the Stryker Institute, UNC graduate Fabiola Mora centers her work in social justice.
Rooted in Social Justice
A native of Chihuahua, Mexico, UNC graduate Fabiola Mora’s parents labored in agricultural fields and meat-packing plants in the Greeley area to create more opportunities for her and her brother Cesar.
“My parents gave up everything to bring my brother and me here in hopes of a better future and without knowing what we would face,” says Mora. “My family faced many obstacles upon arriving in the United States, including a lack of opportunities for my parents to earn an education and higher wages.”
Her family’s experiences started Mora down the path of social justice.
“I carry their struggles with me every day as I face my own,” she says.
The Stryker Institute for Leadership Development supports the personal, social and academic achievement of women from underrepresented groups at UNC by:
- Providing access to educational opportunities
- Empowering women through encouragement and space for personal growth
- Cultivating leadership potential
- Fostering connectedness and community
Mora began her educational journey at UNC as a Business Marketing major, but she soon discovered a passion for education and decided to pursue a teaching degree in Secondary Spanish Education, which she earned in 2009.
“Coming to college opened the door for me to explore what it meant to be a first-generation, undocumented, low-income, Mexicana and to celebrate all of that, which is something I was never able to do before,” she says.
While pursuing her bachelor’s degree, she worked at the Office of Financial Aid and the César Chávez Cultural Center. Both jobs inspired her to combine her desire to work in higher education and her passion for social justice. She went on to complete her master’s in Educational Leadership at UNC in 2010.
Mora says she was honored to be selected for the Stryker Institute for Leadership Development program and as a Stryker scholarship recipient. “It provided me the opportunity to attend college and learn about the history of my people, and I began to truly appreciate the beautiful sacrifices my family made for me,” she says.
With her future rooted in her past, she is dedicating her career to social justice and access and equity in higher education. As the assistant director for Advising and Student Success at Metropolitan State University of Denver, Mora works to help serve first-year students.
“The Stryker Institute helped provide financial assistance, but most importantly it provided leadership development and a community of women who helped support and encourage me to attain my educational and life goals,” Mora says.
“Through the Stryker Institute, I learned about social justice, and I received the love I needed to continue my journey.”