Guest Speaker Promotes Upcoming ODFL Fundraiser

Stanford University senior Erica Fernandez spoke in the theater to raise awareness about underprivileged communities in Mexico and to promote the upcoming ODFL fundraiser yesterday, September 20.

During the presentation, Fernandez provided insight into her hardships and successes while growing up. She highlighted her unique experiences about growing up in Mexico and explained how she became involved in environmental activism after immigrating to the United States.

After moving to the United States, Fernandez lived in Oxnard, California, where she helped her community defeat the construction of a natural gas facility offshore. During the speech, Fernandez said that the threat of environmental damages from the natural gas facility played an especially important part in motivating her. Her protest was ultimately successful in preventing the corporation from installing the facility.

“Her story of … having nothing to fight for what she believes in and turning her life around inspires me to be grateful for my background and make the most of myself,” freshman Kiana Berube said.

Fernandez has won several awards for her activism, including an award from the Earth Island Institute in its New Leaders Initiative category. She continues to visit communities in Mexico in the hope of creating a better world for the natives down there.

“Sometimes we think that because we are young, people are not going to listen to us and that they are not going to consider what we are going to say,” Fernandez said. “I want people to know that they can make a difference no matter where they come from, what language they speak or what grade they are in.”