NYU Steinhardt News

Steinhardt Grad Student Fosters Equity in NYU Admissions Role

Higher Education and Student Affairs graduate student Armando Figueroa (Steinhardt ’18) is working to foster racial equity in our communities. In his roles as Steinhardt GSO Senator and Graduate Student Intern for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, he is supporting underrepresented students, mobilizing student activism, and empowering youth through outreach.

Can you explain how your work is supporting underrepresented students and how you hope this work moves the needle towards racial equity?

As the Graduate Student Intern at NYU’s office of Undergraduate Admissions, I am currently on the diversity initiatives team where I participate in outreach programs to students from underrepresented backgrounds and from struggling communities. As a Senator for Steinhardt’s Graduate Student Organization (GSO), I bring student concerns to the campus administration along with the Senator’s Council. This often involves creating an environment where student activism thrives and student growth is fostered in critical spaces, pushing issues of underserved communities to the forefront.

What initially prompted you to take the step towards supporting underrepresented students and fostering racial equity?

I grew up in a low-income household in Los Angeles, noticing the problems around me that come with being from a struggling community. I was just never able to articulate or diagnose the systemic violence, poverty, and deprivation of resources in my neighborhood until I became the first person in my family to go to college. Now, I want to give students from similar backgrounds the same opportunity to meet their full potential after being overlooked for so long.

How has Steinhardt helped you further your goals to move the needle towards equality so far?

Steinhardt has definitely made me feel like I have the opportunity to make moves towards progress. It has empowered me with opportunities I would otherwise believe are out of reach. I have had complete access to work with and speak to different professionals doing work and research within underserved communities. Steinhardt gave me the golden opportunity that no other education program could, to work at my dream job in admissions. I get to bring together my passion for access and equity, and foster a welcoming environment for the diverse student population we pride ourselves on. Steinhardt has fully pushed me to understand that all of my opportunities for academic and professional development are critical in the context of the work I will do as a scholar and professional.