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Eastern Washington University
526 5th Street
Cheney, WA 99004
phone: 509.359.6200 (campus operator)

Mikaila Leyva


Mikaila Leyva was born and raised in Everett, WA and graduated from Everett high School in 2010 with an interest in politics.

Throughout her academic career Mikaila has always been politically active within her community and educational system by organizing Bi-lingual Parent nights at her high school and consistently advocating for undocumented students. Being a first generation student as well as coming from a Latino background has prompted challenges when navigating within the world of academia however, she has used this knowledge to help promote higher education to others in her community.

Through her parents determination and hard work to give their child better opportunities Mikaila was able to become the first in her family to pursue a college degree. Seeing the adversities her parents had to endure only impelled her to go further in terms of her education. Being witness to many of the world's injustices against her family and other migrant workers encouraged her to gain a politically related degree to provide representation for her community.

Today, Mikaila is maintaining a considerable GPA while making strides to pursue a PhD in Political Science after gaining her undergraduate degree in International Affairs with a minor in Spanish. Her future goals include becoming a state representative and advocate for immigrant rights.


TRiO McNair Research Internship:___________________________________________________________

Environmental Racism's Effect on African American and Latino Communities (2014)

My research follows the effects of environmental racism on African American and Latino communities within the United States. There are real world effects that follow the siting of toxic dump areas in predominantly African American and Latino communities. Both primary and secondary articles are being used to prove the effects of these toxic sites. This study also uses various reports, journals, and books which document the injustices of environmental racism. Although the research is still being conducted, I hypothesize that my findings will support my claim that toxic sites exhibit evident negative effects on their surrounding communities, which is primarily that of African Americans and Latinos. This study will educate people on a relatively unknown area of environmental justice which affects a large population of underrepresented groups within the United States.


Conference Presentations:__________________________________________________________________

Environmental Racism's Effect on African American and Latino Communities,

  • 17th Annual Student Research and Creative Works Symposium, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA (2014)


Honors and Awards:_______________________________________________________________________

  • McNair Scholar Summer Internship, Awarded $2,800. The goal of the McNair Program is to increase the attainment of PhD degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society. (2014)
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