Ariana Sánchez Barrios
Venezuela → Lake George/Queensbury, NY
Born in Venezuela. Summer Work Travel alumna. English Access Microscholarship Program participant. Youth Ambassador. Civic Leadership Summit fellow. Volunteer coordinator. Dynamic public speaker. And she’s only 19 years old.
What has motivated Ariana to accomplish so much at such a young age? This SWT alumna is on a mission to create positive change in her home country of Venezuela, using her leadership and exchange experience as the tools to help her achieve that goal.
While on her SWT program, she participated in a Civic Leadership Summit in DC, as well as the 2016 convention of the Association of Binational Centers of Latin America (ABLA) in Houston. There she spoke about her experience as a volunteer coordinator with the Venezuelan American Center of Zulia, an organization focused on cultural exchange and mutual understanding between Venezuela and the United States.
“It is really hard to plan when we are going through uncertain times in my country. I’d like to run for the presidency at some point, or at least have a position in which it gets easier to work helping people,” she said. “I’m planning to have my own NGO aimed at developing my community in specific life aspects starting with volunteering because in this way, they will learn about different types of social work and at the end of it, they will be able to create their own projects and programs. I am truly committed to creating more and better citizens, no matter what position I have in life.”
What she’s up to now:
Teaching English, and organizing a conference to encourage young Venezuelans to stay and make the change they want to see in their country.