When the National Puerto Rican Student Coalition developed its chapters, it was clear that the leaders in Puerto Rico would have a great impact on students in the island. Many students from the public and private universities in the island have joined the Coalition through the efforts of the Chapter Liaison, Angelica Martinez. Since the creation of NPRSC-Puerto Rico, this Chapter has witnessed the inspiring leadership and strong activism of students defending the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) against additional budget cuts. We had the opportunity to speak with Amy Segarra-Torres, who has taken a central role in the NPRSC-Puerto Rico Chapter and in defending the UPR. This is what Amy had to say:
“My name is Amy Segarra Torres, from Mayaguez Puerto Rico. I am currently studying at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. I am pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a double major in Accounting and Management Information Systems with a minor in Human Resources. Since I was 17 years old, I have been interacting with politics and social activism.
"I was part of the coordination of the business incubator Expo Ideas in 2016. I have been providing tax assistance to the community since 2018. As of January of 2020, I became the Site Coordinator of the Volunteer Intake Tax Assistance program for the IRS (VITA) of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. In VITA, we provide free assistance to taxpayers. I am a research mentor for the 'Instituto Universitario para el Desarrollo de las Comunidades' (IUDC). As a research mentor I help my students with their participatory-action research and visit some of the most underprivileged communities of Puerto Rico to help the residents with the inequities they face. I have been part of researches, written business proposals, and developed Human Resources Plans. My goals for the near future are to become a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and work as an Information Systems Analyst.
"I became a part of the National Puerto Rican Student Coalition in August 2019; the first time I attended an NPRSC event was for the 'Encuentro Nacional de Liderato Juvenil' at the Kinesis Foundation. Since then, I have been participating in meetings all over the island. I am now part of a movement on the NPRSC – Puerto Rico Chapter which has incorporated the programs CREAUPR (Comunidad al Rescate Educativo y Académico de la Universidad de Puerto Rico) and CREA (Comunidad al Rescate Educativo y Académico). The main goal with these movements is to provide information to the people of why public higher education should be recognized as an essential service and help make the problems college students face in their universities visible to everyone."
Amy continues to inspire the Puerto Rican youth in the island. Her professional and academic experiences have been shaped by her unique form of activism in defending the students in the public university system of the island. The programs created by NPRSC-Puerto Rico Chapter will allow student leaders to employ their skills into defending the UPR. Also, it will showcase the power of unity between Puerto Rican student leaders in both the private and public environments when working towards a common goal. Amy Segarra is truly an outstanding example of how a student leader can defend the UPR and contribute to make a better Puerto Rico.