Latinos and Planning Division Scholarship
The purpose of the program is to foster increased interest in the study of urban planning within the Latino student population at the advanced undergraduate and graduate levels.
The Latinos and Planning Division of the American Planning Association (APA) strives to address planning issues affecting Latino communities in the U.S. as well increase Latinos in the profession. The program is open to third and fourth year undergraduate students and first and second year masters degree students. One scholarship of $500 is awarded per semester to be used for fees, books, or academic materials contingent on available funding.
Daniel A. Audelo
Daniel grew up in California's Central Valley, where he learned to appreciate the hardships faced by many Spanish speaking communities. It became his goal to work with Latino communities to overcome these hardships, and for the past several years he has been able to fulfill his goal.
After completing his undergraduate studies at UC Irvine he moved back to his hometown of Bakersfield, California, which has a large Latino population. He was presented with many opportunities to meet and assist individuals in crisis during his tenure within Bakersfield's non-profit sector. Talking and working with these individuals allowed him to see what problems the community was facing as a whole. Specifically, his interest in transportation planning began when he worked for a homeless shelter in Bakersfield. One of his many duties was linking individuals to supportive services that could help them attain stable housing, income, medical assistance, or even vouchers for food. However, in doing this he realized that the biggest obstacle in people's paths to receiving these services was a lack of transportation. This experience crystalized an idea that had been slowly coming to him. This concept was that the ease of which a person travels through a city greatly impacts a community's ability to grow and prosper. With this thought in mind he decided to further his education so that he might be able to improve transportation services in cities like Bakersfield.
He is currently pursuing a dual Masters degree in City and Regional Planning and Transportation Engineering at California Polytechnic State University. During his graduate courses he's had the opportunity to work on many interesting and exciting projects. Currently, he is working on a parks master plan update for the City of Woodland as well as a complete streets design proposal for the City of San Luis Obispo. When the opportunity presents itself he also volunteers as a Spanish translator for community outreach efforts in Hispanic communities. He looks forward in expanding his skillsets as a planner and implement his skills in the communities he works for.
Jessica Medina is the daughter of Mexican immigrants who settled in South Los Angeles in the 1980s. Growing up in Watts — a neighborhood bounded by industrial uses, the 105 Freeway, and the Alameda Corridor — sparked in Jessica an interest in environmental justice and community health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies, with a specialization in architecture, from Columbia University. Jessica served two terms of AmeriCorps National Service prior to returning to Los Angeles in 2013: From 2011-2012, she assisted with community development programs in the Central Valley of California, working with staff, council, and residents to build housing support for low-income and undocumented workers; from 2012-2013, she worked on youth engagement, affordable housing advocacy, and volunteer mobilization with Habitat for Humanity in New York City.
Currently, Jessica works as an organizer for the Participatory Budgeting Project and coordinates community engagement and outreach efforts for participatory budgeting processes in Long Beach, California. She recently completed a research assistantship to Dr. Manuel Pastor and affiliated researchers at the joint USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity and the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. Jessica volunteers as a Program Coordinator with Watts Community Studio; where she is helping to develop and implement a summer youth employment program that will teach community health planning skills to high school students. Jessica is completing a dual master's degree in Urban Planning and Public Policy at the USC Price School of Public Policy. After completing her degree in May 2016, she hopes to continue to work and grow with organizations that push the boundaries of the traditional definition of community economic development through participatory planning.