Hi! My name is Skylah Fregoso, and I am a sophomore at the University of Chicago. I am currently working from home in California, and while I would love to be working directly in Chicago, I am definitely appreciating this extra time that I get to spend with my family. I spend most of my time with my two younger sisters, but when I am not playing with them, I enjoy watching shows on Netflix and Hulu–I am currently binging Sons of Anarchy–or going outside to take photos, as I love photography.
My all-time favorite way to spend my time, however, is going to concerts. I have seen a wide variety of artists in concert, ranging from Post Malone to Harry Styles to JoJo Siwa to Khalid. Since moving to Chicago, it has not only opened the doors to new (pre-coronavirus) concerts, but more importantly, to new academic opportunities. At UChicago, I plan on majoring in Economics with a specialization in Business, and I also plan on minoring in Education and Society. Although I am unsure about what exact career path I will follow, one thing is for sure: I want to use my education and privilege to help others and leave the world a better place.
This internship will be my first, and it could not have been a more perfect match! Through the community service I did in high school, I developed a strong passion for not only helping others, but also for learning from and collaborating with those I work with, as every interaction is one of value. I believe that the best kind of work comes when you truly submerge yourself in the experience and embrace everything and everyone that comes your way.
Since being introduced to HWLF and their mission, I have been more than excited to officially become part of the team. The foundation’s passion to help increase equity among groups who are often otherwise overlooked truly resonated with me. As a Latinx woman, I have seen, as well as experienced, firsthand the injustices that many people of color face. Because people of color, especially Black people of color, are so often failed by the system, it becomes critical for organizations such as HWLF to fill the gaps where the system is lacking, as well as to disrupt it in order to increase equity.
This inequity has been present throughout this country’s history, but recent events have brought it to the forefront of public attention, from COVID-19 disproportionately affecting minority communities, heavily hitting them with high infection and death rates, to the recent uprisings in response to police brutality suffered by Black people. These crises have put a spotlight on the oppression experienced by Black people and have made one thing clear as ever: these injustices need to be addressed and undone immediately. This has gone on for far too long, and something must be done about it.
While working with HWLF, I hope to aid in the fight to dismantle this systemic inequity faced by minority communities. I plan on doing this by expanding the reach of the foundation so that we can impact as many people as possible, as well as by making sure that we have the financial support necessary to fuel our mission. More than anything, I want to be able to help make a difference in people’s lives and to give them the support and empowerment that they deserve.