Each week, the Guiding Circle of the Fund for Women and Girls selects one Woman Warrior from submitted nominations to spotlight. This week features our fourth honoree.
A Lifeline for International Students During COVID-19
One woman keeps students connected to basic needs
An associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Youngstown State University, Dr. Alicia Prieto Langarica is also closely connected to the University’s community of international students. Shortly after YSU’s campus closed down because of COVID-19, she put out a call to her friends and colleagues to gather items for the YSU Food Pantry to provide food and other essential items to that community on campus.
Many of the international students who live on campus did not have any other home to go to and stay safe during the pandemic. Their ability to travel off campus to brave grocery stores or food distributions is extremely limited as well, especially once WRTA adjusted its level of service. Without the additional assistance from the YSU Food Pantry, these students were left with very few options to get essentials, relying only on nearby gas stations since the CVS near campus closed earlier this year.
Because of Alicia’s leadership and support from YSU faculty and staff, donations of food, toiletries, and other essential items have been collected for weeks now, Monday through Friday at Kilcawley Center on campus. The pantry’s website includes an Amazon wish list of needed items to make sure the students are getting what they need. Alicia is planning to organize a large donation drive in June and is hoping for enough donations to last through the month.
Alicia has been a mentor and advocate for international students, always making sure they have the support they need. Though the donation drive for the YSU Food Pantry was and is a team effort, showing the dedication of YSU faculty and staff towards their students, the team needed a leader to get the ball rolling. Alicia is that leader.
During a time that is filled with fear and uncertainty for all of us, especially for international students who are already navigating unfamiliar waters on a daily basis, the kindness and compassion delivered to them, along with food and other staple items, is a life saver to keep them afloat. Alicia is a true Woman Warrior on the front lines of the coronavirus health crisis, and it is women like her that will help our community make it through this #Together.
If you know a woman doing great things during these uncertain times, please nominate her for Women Warriors today!