Beatriz Alfaro ’13 has a passion for public service. Currently a Juris Doctor candidate at the U.C. Davis School of Law, Alfaro earned her bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University in both Women’s Studies and Spanish in 2013. It’s an undergraduate foundation she says has uniquely prepared her for her current studies.
“With Women’s Studies you’re not just challenging gender, you’re challenging every social marker—race, socio-economic status, religion, everything,” Alfaro said. “You’re taught to recognize your own bias, and I think that approach has helped me. Hopefully it will help me become a better public servant.”
Alfaro hopes to someday work for the California Attorney General’s office, where she spent last summer as a legal intern in the Criminal Division and used her Women’s Studies background to help research policies affecting transgender inmates. “I love criminal law because the issues are very personal,” she said. “I like the idea of advocating for the community at large. It’s something I did as an undergrad. I was always on committees trying to represent a community voice.”
During her time at LMU, Alfaro demonstrated a deep commitment to civic engagement as well as scholarship. She served as the Chicano and Latino Student Services Fellow among other appointments and was selected to participate in the Latino Leadership Initiative at Harvard University, an experience she said had a profound personal and professional impact. Alfaro was awarded the Latino Alumni Association (LAA) scholarship for four consecutive years as well as the prestigious LMU/LAA Donald P. Merrifield, S.J. Scholarship in her senior year.
A native of El Salvador and a first-generation college graduate, Alfaro notes that the support she received both at home and from mentors at LMU has been critical to her success. “I have had so many opportunities, and so many people have helped me throughout my life,” Alfaro said. “As an immigrant, it’s really important to me to represent the Latino community in a positive light. I hope to show that everyone has a strong potential in life and it’s just a matter of being given the resources and the support in order to blossom.”