Andrea Ornelas, MS'16, was recently nominated to the 30 under 30 most influential young Latino leaders list by El Mundo Boston. The first initiative of its kind in the state, El Mundo's Latino 30 under 30 sought to recognize young individuals who work to make an impact on the Massachusetts Latino community. Nominees spanned industries including business, sports, community activism, and fine arts.
The award came just six months after Ornelas graduated from the Master of Science in International Management (MIM) program. She said she was humbled to receive the nomination, which recognized her social justice and community organizing work with nonprofits like ARC Leadership and Mujeres Unidas Avanzado Boston. “I was honored to be among so many Latino leaders,” she said. “An event like this was much needed, because it symbolizes the power we have in our community.”
The MIM programs seeks to attract students who want to learn through the challenges of living, working, and studying in different countries, While she was participating in this program, Ornelas left an impression with D'Amore-McKim faculty like Distinguished Professor Paula Caligiuri.
“I was impressed with Andrea's strength, intelligence, and unwavering dedication to make a positive difference in the world,” she said. “The best MIM students can tolerate ambiguity, embrace change, celebrate diversity, and thrive in complexity. Andrea exemplifies each of these qualities.”
It was from her time with Caligiuri that Ornelas cemented her passion for humanitarian work and interest in helping underserved communities. “She had a multifaceted way of teaching that left an imprint on my learning,” Ornelas said. She added that they both grew up in the United States with parents from other countries. “We share that cultural agility.”
Ornelas' parents migrated from Mexico almost 30 years ago without knowing the language or culture. She said she is most grateful for their efforts to support her, and she credits them for her award. “I came from a very humble background. I owed it to my parents that I finish college and graduate school,” she said.
Read more about Andrea Ornelas in El Mundo Boston Latino 30 under 30 here.
Story by Emily Turner