The Utah Center for Legal Inclusion is pleased to announce this year’s recipients for the LSAT Scholarship. Congratulations to the seven recipients of UCLI’s 2022 LSAT scholarship: Valeria Jimenez, Andrea Jimenez, Emily Zárate, Luz Maria Carreño, Heidi Clawson, Mikela Ouimette, and Anna Van Noy.
UCLI wishes each recipient the best in their journeys, and looks forward to seeing the many contributions they will make to Utah’s legal profession. Please find more information about each scholarship recipient below.
Full Scholarship Recipients
Valeria Jimenez is a graduate of the University of Utah. As a first-generation college graduate, she earned an honors political science degree with minors in business and Chicana/o studies. During her time at the University of Utah, she was involved in multiple Latinx-led student organizations to empower the Latinx community through college- and career-readiness, and voter registration efforts. Valeria is currently the Public Outreach Coordinator at the Utah State Courts Office of Fairness and Accountability. She is responsible for public outreach and education of court programs to the public. Beyond her professional capacity, Valeria serves as a committee member of the Wasatch Education Foundation We Rise First-Generation Scholarship Program. She chooses to share her experience and knowledge both within her professional role and personal life with incoming first-generation students to continue a positive postsecondary trajectory of Latinx graduates.
Andrea Daniela Jimenez Flores (She/Her) was five months old when she and her parents emigrated from Mexico to the United States. Her parents’ strength, resilience, and immense support made it possible for her to become the first in her family to graduate college while overcoming obstacles presented by her immigration status. Growing up as an undocumented Latina in West Valley City, Utah, enabled Andrea to see that her community was overlooked and underrepresented. The realities of her experiences with her two intertwined identities gave her a passion for social justice and a need to do everything she could to create an equitable society for underserved communities through public service.
Andrea graduated summa cum laude from the University of Utah with three Bachelor’s degrees in Communication, Political Science, and Sociology. Whilst in college, she made it her mission to advocate for Latinx and immigrant populations. She became a Dream Ambassador and Student Director of the Road Home’s Book Club to emphasize the importance of education for underserved communities. Andrea interned for Utah State Senator Luz Escamilla and the Ibarra Strategy Group, where she was further exposed to the challenges faced by her community at the state and national levels and the lack of representation within government. She held many roles at Comunidades Unidas, focusing on advancing immigrants’ rights, Latinx empowerment, workers’ rights, civic engagement, and eliminating barriers placed on immigrant communities. Andrea recently completed the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Public Policy Fellowship, wherein she worked on federal policy initiatives affecting disadvantaged communities across the nation.
Andrea hopes to use her experience as an undocumented person of color to pursue a public interest legal career to advocate for historically disadvantaged communities. Andrea aspires to become a civil rights attorney to ensure that these communities are not overlooked. She hopes to work for a legal nonprofit that protects everyone’s civil rights and uplifts marginalized voices. Andrea dreams of founding a legal nonprofit that prioritizes underserved communities and fervently protects their rights. Andrea’s primary mission is to ensure that everyone has equitable access to representation, regardless of any obstacle they may face.”
Emily Zárate is the Administrative Coordinator of the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion. Emily attended Utah State University, where she graduated in May of 2022 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and a Certificate in Law and Society Studies. While at USU, Emily worked at the Latinx Cultural Center, an organization which focuses on academic, educational, personal, and professional growth within the Latinx community on campus. During her time at the LCC, she worked closely with first-generation Latinx students to ensure their success on campus by helping them navigate through college. Emily intends to pursue a J.D. next year. Her interests include technology law, immigration law, and criminal justice reform. In her free time, Emily enjoys weightlifting, reading, and hanging out with her family.
Luz Maria Carreño
Luz M. Carreño has been working with immigrants, refugees, and young female empowerment programs in her community for approximately 12 years. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Utah State University and is originally from Tremonton, Utah. Currently, Luz is pursuing her Master’s in Peace Studies from the International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan through the Rotary Peace Fellowship. Prior to the Rotary Peace Fellowship, Luz was a case manager at Women of the World where she developed customized case management strategies for clients; advocated for clients facing housing discrimination, wage imbalances, and unfair treatment due to low English attainment; connected clients to local; and assisted with job applications, school registration, and college applications. As the proud daughter of Mexican immigrants, Luz is committed to advocating for equality, affordable housing, and access to higher education for refugee and immigrant women living in the U.S. After the completion of her master’s degree, Luz will return to Utah and attend University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law to pursue the JD Program.
Partial Scholarship Recipients
I recently graduated from Brigham Young University with my bachelor’s in Psychology. During my undergraduate years, I participated with wonderful groups that worked to uplift and unite the community such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Girls on the Run, CASA, 2ft Prosthetics BYU, and Mission Nutrition. In addition to volunteering, I worked professionally as a forensic technician at the Utah State Hospital and a caretaker for young adults with special needs. I currently work as a caseworker for DCFS Child Protective Services Special Victims Unit. I support young adults and children to find their voice, receive the help they need, and encourage their growth. This scholarship will not only enable me to make my educational dreams of law school a reality, but it will also help me in my efforts to promote an equal voice and treatment for all through the law.
Mikela is currently enrolled in the Master of Criminal Justice program at Weber State University, where she recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies minor. In law school, she will continue studying criminal justice, along with a dual degree Master of Public Policy program. Mikela’s personal experiences and study of criminal justice has opened her eyes to the injustices in our society and the criminal justice system. This education and experience sparked a great passion for social justice issues and promoting diversity. She believes that people should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential in life, but societal barriers and disadvantages keep this from happening. After passing the bar, Mikela plans to work as a criminal defense attorney. She also wants to work in legislation to advance social justice reform, with a priority focus on criminal justice reform, drug reform, poverty and its subsequent issues, healthcare accessibility, affordable housing, human and equal rights, and LGBTQ+ rights.
Anna Van Noy
Anna is a senior at Utah Valley University studying political science. She received an associate’s degree in French from Weber State University. She had the opportunity to intern for the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion and has been involved in various organizations. Anna is excited for how this scholarship will help her work toward improving equity and inclusion in Utah. She also loves to make playlists and be outside with friends and family.
UCLI would like to thank the generous sponsors and partners who have made these scholarships possible: