Two Students Receive LLILAS Benson Community Engagement Award
Posted: April 23, 2014
LLILAS master’s student Tony Macias and undergrad Latin American Studies major María Ponce are the recipients of the 2014 LLILAS Benson Community Engagement Award. LLILAS Benson staff will present the cash awards to Macias and Ponce at their respective end-of-the-year celebrations.
Both students are deeply committed to community work. Macias is co-founder of the Austin Language Justice Collective, which provides interpreting and translating services for community groups in need, and trains interpreters to work in social justice–oriented settings, such as immigrant rights meetings. He says that his master’s work at LLILAS has helped him combine "scholarly work and direct community action in creative and effective ways.” Ponce has served as co-director of University Relations for the Latino Leadership Council, which works with the Latino/a community in Austin and also organizes the annual Latino Graduation at the university, a ceremony that emphasizes bilingualism and welcomes families of Latino/a Longhorns. She has also volunteered at an NGO in Antigua, Guatemala, and participated in other community service projects in Austin.
Macias and Ponce both live lives committed to the causes they believe in, and see this kind of involvement as being integral to their time as students and their future as citizens.