CSI Junior and Macaulay Honors College student Yeniliz Peguero had a unique opportunity, last December, to assist with the voting process for a referendum in Peru on combating government corruption. This opportunity resulted from a visit to CSI by Ambassador Maria Merino Villaran de Hart, Consul General of Peru during 2018 Phi Beta Delta induction ceremony.
Yeniliz, a dual major in Political Science and Philosophy, said that she became involved when one of her Macaulay advisors, Anita Romano, told her about the opportunity. Describing the experience, Yeniliz said, “On my first day, I became acquainted with various officials who worked at the Peruvian Consulate and introduced to what I would be doing on the day of the event. The event itself, was helping out with the voting process for a referendum, which occurred at Queens College. This day included helping voters figure out which areas they needed to go to outside the campus, as well as which specific table they had to go and vote. Throughout the day, there was plenty of room to ask questions to those involved with the referendum. I gained knowledge on some differences that exist between how Americans vote and how the voting process for Peruvians outside of the country works. I also managed to get some of my questions answered by one of the supervisors about specific voting processes and the benefits of having a dual citizenship.”
When all was said and done, Yeniliz reported that although the turnout was lower than it had been for other recent votes, most likely due to the fact that the referendum was announced late, three of the four proposals were approved.
During her time in Macaulay, Yeniliz also interned for then-councilman Juumane Williams, who now serves the NYC Public Advocate. She noted that she attended meetings on behalf of Williams and that she was invited to join elected officials at the table as they discussed the topics at hand. She will also be studying abroad in Italy this summer, and will serve as a Macaulay Accepted Student Event panelist at CSI this month.
Looking back on her experience in Macaulay and at the College, Yeniliz commented that “My time at CSI has helped my academic path, so far, because of the caring faculty members,” she explained. “I’ve never felt uncomfortable asking anyone for help because many of the professors are very welcoming and willing to help. With the help from my advisors, Lisa French and Anita Romano, I’ve been able to plan out my academic journey and been exposed to various opportunities. Meeting with the prelaw advisor, Michael Paris, has also aided my academic path, helping me figure out my path to law school.”
After she graduates and attends law school, Yeniliz said that she is contemplating pursuing “a career in immigration law.”