Dias Brings Valuable Experience To Montserrat
Pastrana Offered Opportunities To Lower Income Students—Dias Should Further Develop Community
Published: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Updated: Thursday, December 12, 2013 04:12
The Montserrat Coalition of Boston College appointed its new program director, Paula Dias, BC ’07, last month in succession to its previous director, Marina Pastrana, BC ’08.
After having founded and structured the coalition in 2008, Pastrana left behind a well-formed and highly effective program predicated on mentorship available to those BC students who demonstrate the highest financial need. This has been a major success in helping ensure that students of lower socioeconomic status feel welcome on a campus that sometimes fails to be inclusive toward students of all backgrounds.
In the wake of Pastrana’s departure, Dias should look to continue the community-building approach that the Montserrat Coalition set out to construct, and further develop the program’s outreach toward students who view financial barriers as a hindrance to academic and extracurricular opportunities.
Having attended BC as a student with a low-income background, Dias, like Pastrana, brings an added understanding of the burden that expensive on-campus activities can be. Her experiences also allow her to recognize the deliberations that students with significant economic constraints face in deciding how their time and finances should be allocated.
In a welcome reception of Dias to the Montserrat Coalition and back to BC, the organization should maintain an open discussion on the topic of socioeconomic disparities among students and encourage the BC community to foster an environment of acceptance for all.