Founding director of Project Humanities honored with 2022 ASU MLK Jr. Faculty Servant-Leadership Award


January 3, 2022

Two students were selected as the 2022 ASU Martin Luther King Jr. Student Servant Leadership Award winners at Arizona State University’s annual MLK Jr. Celebration.

Encourageaging the continuation of King’s legacy, every year, ASU’s MLK Jr. committee selects both a servant and a student servant leader who have done sensible D.difference in their community and in the lives of those around them.

Prize winners Roicia Banks and Ivan Quintana.
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F.or the first time in it is 37 years Story, thate C.Committee chaired by the ASU Vice-President Per Cultural Affairs Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, has selected two ASU students to honor the Student Servant Leadership Award 2022.

students RoIcia Banks and Ivan Quintana are both honored by ASU Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on January 2nd0.

“All of the study applicants were first class this year and made the selection extremely demanding,” says Jennings-Roggensack Roicia and Ivan rose to the top two elections, (the committee) welcomed doing something we had never done before and decided to honor them both. The tenants of Dr. King and us are proud to honor them as our 2022 Student Servant Leadership Award winners. “

W.itH thatis yearS. youI am “Inclusion starts with us” these students’ Heritage, culture and educationing shaped them into the resilient and selfless leaders they are today.

Roicia Banks

After facing many difficulties early in life, from being a black and indigenous woman to growing up in foster families to being adopted by her late Hopi mother, Banks is the definition of a strong and resilient serving leader.

I’ve done so much at my age because I’m in the faceD. some of the toughest challenges at the beginning of my life“Said banks. “I had to find out what oneBandoning was and then really try to work it through my Identity and being biracial was a big challenge. S.ince I had a lot of these challenges in the beginning, by the time I graduated from high school and went to college, I had a solid foundation for who I was and after that everything just blossomed.”

Banking is a first generation graduate, to have earned a Bachelor in both African and African American Studies and P.politically S.Science at ASU. She then received it master Degree in social work from the University of Houston. This training and 10 Years of experience working as a social worker for state and tribal governments inspired Banks to make greater impact.

“I was definitely an advocate and campaigner for my Falling Number, my children,“Said banks. “But I realized that I get solutions and I deliver solutions and nobody wants them or cares to implement them. I recognized (the care system) is just a working oiled machine and nobody really cares about preventive measures. I just couldn’t take it anymore.”

In 2018, Banks became the owner and founder of Social Roots LLC, a company focused on improving African American and indigenous communities not only protects families, but ensures that both children and adults have the necessary resources to thrive in a healthy environment and community.

“I Founded Social roots based on my experiences and what i wanted Social work look. I want toed to be an answer to my own problems that I saw emerge in my churches,“Said banks.

The company expanded its program to creatively and culturally affect those who are traumatizeda ”, according to his website.

Oneexample This show is ATTITUDE: A Mental Health Summit for African American women. This summit provides a safe space to learn and discuss topics related to the Mental health of African American professionals.

I focus a lot more on culture because I know culture has been a big part of my growth and success in identify who I am, where we come from and our relationships; really do the unpacking and healing, you know, of our familyYes trauma“Said Banks.

Banks takes great pride in its African American and Indigenous culture and attributes much of her success to the teachings and lessons of her Trunk and Hopi mother.

“Myour mother is a great role model,“Said banks. “I didn’t know how much of a servantit was for our family and our community, and it was modeled right before my eyes. It is because our culture reflects that so much, it just goes without saying and is the character of my tribe. I have had great examples of leadership and helping others.”

Banks plans to continue their work at Social Roots LLC and is currently working towards them Master of Legal Studies with a focus on indigenous law at ASU.

“To Getting to the bottom of things, politics matters, the law matters, the codes matter, and I really just wanted to be armed with the understanding and knowledge of how to read those codes; how can one translatee the law and how it affects us a tribal nation, ”said Banks.

Banks feels humble and proud to receive the student servant-Guide price of the ASU MLK Jr. Committee.

I think a lot of times we minimize the work we do, maybe as women or women of color or as black women. We don’t really see the effects or the same measured value. to to be in same Category with those people who are life changing, it honors and humiliates, BBut I also have to acknowledge that I am in this area too.”

Ivan Quintana

Born and raised in a small town in northern Mexico to parents who had completed the equivalent of middle school, Ivan Quintana moved to the United States at the age of 18 to fulfill his dreams and wishes as well as his family.

mhave your parentsve I have made many sacrifices to get quality education at my own expense“Said Quintana. “THey wanted our life to be very different from yours. ”

Quintana moved to America and began his secondary education at the Mesa Community College. Meanwhile two years Period, Quintana experienced the challenges of being both a first-generation college student and a low-income college.

I have just didn’t know how college worksed, ”said Quintana. “I worked full time, went to school and tried to improve not only my life but that of my family as well. ”

but Quintana soon found consolation helping othersS. in similar situations by becoming one Ambassador for university degree for AmeriCorps Arizona Ready for College and Career Program, from 2018 to 2019.

During his time on this program, Quintana did led informative summer camps for high school students, helped high school graduates apply for both college and FASFA, and offerD. emotional support for students and families.

“ONE often, this Families were very much like mine“Said Quintana. “It was amazing to see that they all wanted a better life for their children. That gave me the impetus to continue this type of work. ”

So, in achieving academic success at Community College and moving to ASU in 2019, Quintana continued to work tirelessly to help others achieve their dreams.

Quintana‘s work extended from to virtually teach a third grader in Los Angeles during the pandemic to as a STEM teacher for Chicanos Por La Causa, where he helped Piloting an online scavenger hunt curriculum based on problem solving, analyzing clues, and conducting home art and science projects

Quintana currently works for Trio Grant, a series of government-funded college programs created to serve first-generation, low-income, disabled, and experienced students.

“It is really cool to be able to participateis a kind of family that has existed since the 1960s and is designed to help students like me“Said Quintana.

All These experiences have helped Quintana realize that first generation students have a hidden wealth and strength not found in a typical college student, and he encourages the first generationration Students to see their lives as enrichment.

I think society often outlines what success should be like. I know a lot students feel like they’re not good enough to be in collegee, but (First generation students) have the merits of being a good caretaker and keep an eye out for others“Said Quintana. There is a lot of cultural wealth and Capital of Culture that we haves first-Generation, low-income students; be grateful for that and for … the many things you have that others don’t. ”

Quintana is expected to graduate this spring with a double degree in criminal justice and criminology as well as civil service and public politics. He plans to study law to advance education policyIboth at state and federal level.

Activist and award-winning chef Silvana Salcido Esparza has been selected by the ASU MLK Jr. Committee as this year’s Servant Leadership Awardee. She will be honored along with Faculty and Staff Award winners Neal Lester and Marcelino Quiñonez on January 20 with Banks and Quintana.


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