Jorge Mejia, MCAS ‘19, was presented the 26th Annual Archbishop Oscar A. Romero Scholarship by Boston College President William Leahy during an award ceremony at the Yawkey Athletics Center on Saturday night.
In addition to honoring the achievements of the three nominees and the winner, the event featured Bolivian cuisine and folklore.
The Oscar Romero Scholarship “recognizes a Boston College junior who has demonstrated superior academic achievement, extracurricular leadership, community service, and involvement with the Hispanic/Latino community and Hispanic/Latino issues both on and off campus.”
Additionally, the scholarship awards up to $25,000 towards the tuition of the winner for their senior year.
The finalists, Roberto Garcia and Kimberly Lozano (both MCAS '19), were also rewarded a $3,000 scholarship for their senior year tuition.
Mejia is a political science major and Latin American studies and history minor with a 3.8 GPA. He hails from the Bronx, New York, and his experiences growing up in that community inspired him to work at the West Bronx Housing and Neighborhood Resource Center (WBH) with low-income tenants facing eviction in the summer of 2017.
“As a low-income Latino from the Bronx, New York, this nomination underscores that I am successful because of my background, not in spite of it,” said Mejia. “My research in Northern Ireland, Kuwait, and Israel; my work at the New York State Senate; my job at West Bronx Housing Center—all of that is a testament to Latino excellence.”
Mejia’s Latino heritage plays a significant role in his educational goals. According to Mejia, the theme behind his undergraduate career at Boston College has been “service for the Latino community through co-curricular leadership, academic excellence, and Romerian activism.”
Mejia’s background also inspired him to be involved in what he referred to as his most meaningful experience at BC: the Organization of Latin American Affairs (OLAA). Through his work with OLAA, Mejia helps organize events such as Spanish-language liturgies, Latino Family Weekend, culture shows, and various panels.
Mejia described OLAA as being “an amphitheater for all voices championing social change,” and described its work as “Romero in action.”
At the same award ceremony, The Father John A. Dinneen, S.J. Alumni Award was presented. This distinguished alumni award was awarded to Juan A. Arteaga, MCAS ‘99, a partner in the Antitrust and White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement groups in Crowell & Moring’s New York office.
At Boston College, Arteaga received his B.A., magna cum laude, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and received the Archbishop Oscar Romero Scholarship himself.