A University of South Florida student who came to the United States from Mexico when she was 6 years old is in Cleveland this week, working and studying at the Republican National Convention.
Senior Mariana Sanchez Ramirez is studying political science in the USF Honors College. She received a scholarship to attend the RNC from the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars.
One hundred students were selected from around the nation to go to Cleveland, while a similar sized group is heading to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention next week.
Sanchez Ramirez spent last week in Cleveland discussing this year’s campaign in small student groups, hearing from expert speakers like lobbyists and state lawmakers and attending pre-convention-related events.
And even though she’ll spend this week working behind the scenes at the convention for Spanish TV network Univision, Sanchez Ramirez hopes convention attendees see an immigrant student who’s now working hard in the U.S.
“I feel that Donald Trump does have his point of view, but I feel that the whole Republican Party doesn’t necessarily have that perspective,” she said. “So I want to see a way to kind of humanize the Mexican population and the immigration issue in American politics, give it a face.”
Sanchez Ramirez adds that she thinks, particularly with immigration being such a major election issue, that Univision could play a major role in educating voters.
“This is the way they’re going to be able to reach out to the Latino population to get them to vote,” she said. “And I feel that their coverage of the Republican National Convention will definitely set the tone as to how many Latino voters will be participating in this upcoming November.”