Montserrat Pineda ’22 is passionate about uplifting communities like the one she grew up in. A dedicated organizer from Long Beach, California, she chose to study political science at the University of Redlands while becoming increasingly involved in student organizations and her local community.
While at Redlands, Pineda’s background as a first-generation college student from an immigrant family informed her commitment to advocating for and uplifting students with similar backgrounds. She championed other first-generation students through Students Together Empowering Peers, joined the social justice and diversity-focused siblinghood WRW, increased voter awareness by cofounding Bulldogs Vote, and worked in the Study Away office. She currently serves as the policy and budget cochair for the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities Independent California Colleges Advocate Program, a group that develops participants’ leadership, communication, and advocacy skills and deepens their knowledge of how policymaking affects education.
Pineda remained dedicated to her local community by interning for Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, and Congressman Alan Lowenthal, working at the Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion, and organizing food distribution drives and civic engagement activities in North Long Beach.
Her commitment to justice, equity, leadership, and public service resulted in Pineda’s receipt of the Jacob Green Memorial Prize, the Velma Hooper McCall Award, and the Warren Christopher Public Service Scholarship. She was also the inaugural recipient of the Vivanco-Daugherty Family Study Abroad Travel Grant, which supported her semester abroad in London.
Pineda is proud to be the first in her family to receive a college diploma and views her experiences and accomplishments as a way to honor her family and community. In the future, she plans to attend graduate school with the goal of working in the policy field—ultimately continuing her work in her community and building on her Redlands education.