Students for Economic Justice 2018 Fellowship
Fiorela Giuleana Olivari is a first-generation American with Peruvian and Mexican roots. She is a single mother, former cash-aid recipient and first-generation college student. Fiorela is studying criminal justice at San Diego State University. As a teenage mother in an abusive relationship, she knew she had to leave to give her son a better life. However, as a Latina, earning a living wage was very difficult and she knew the odds were stacked against her. She applied for cash-aid benefits despite the shame. Her love of her beautiful son motivated her to better herself and face any stigma head on. She quickly realized that she had to educate herself of her rights and become a vociferous advocate for herself and her son.
Soon after enrolling in college Fiorela wanted to empower other mothers and vulnerable students on aid and so for three years she has worked for the Grossmont CalWORKs department, whose mission is helping students gain educational and social justice. She has also helped other women who were victims of abuse empower themselves and learn to advocate for themselves and their children. Lastly, Fiorela is also a member of SDSU’s Criminal Justice Student Association and a committee board member of Grossmont College’s Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE). Through her work in these organizations, she advocates for equity and social justice in education, the community, the penal system, and society.