Jessica Solis Aguilar ’20

October 28, 2019

Leland native Jessica Solis Aguilar ’20 was introduced to UNCW while in high school and the supportive community she found at Centro Hispano sealed her decision to become a Seahawk.

As a work study student in Centro Hispano, she and members of the Spanish program helped with recovery efforts in the Rocky Point area after 2018’s Hurricane Florence.

“I live locally and Florence devastated the place I call home; however, it was a proud moment to be a part of a community that came together and came out of this stronger,” she said.

In addition to Centro, the social work major is involved with Pender County Juntos 4H; UNCW MI CASA Mentoring Program; Habitat for Humanity; My People, Mi Voz; Student Social Work Organization; YWCA Reach Afterschool program and the Brigade Boys and Girls Club. 

In May, Aguilar was the first recipient of the YWCA Student Impact Grant, which awards $1,500 to a deserving student to further the lives of women and minorities. She plans to use the grant monies to help cover traveling expenses for educational trips for students in the Pender County Juntos 4H mentoring program.

“After hearing news that I won, the first thing I did was hug my mother,” she said. “In these moments you realize all the efforts you put toward something you believe in so strongly will get acknowledged.”

After graduating, she plans to pursue a master’s in social work and continue her involvement with the Hispanic/Latinx and immigrant community. “My dream is to eventually have my own nonprofit addressing the needs in my community.”

-- Caroline Cropp