Passion for Justice

Tackling Educational Disparities in the Real World

by SURYAA RANGARAJAN, OFFICE OF MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS

Sophomore sociology major Greta Karisny ’17 has wasted no time putting her passion for improving systemic inequalities to work in the real world. Twice a month, she leads about 10 USF students as they tutor San Francisco high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers.

Greta, an advocate for community engagement (ACE) at USF’s Leo T. McCarthy Center, is a primary liaison to Upward Bound Math and Science — a federally funded program housed at USF that offers STEM courses at seven San Francisco high schools.

Greta’s team — comprised of students earning service-learning units — provides tutoring, assists high school students with college applications, and informs them of financial aid programs and other resources that are available to them.

So what’s the best part of being an ACE for Upward Bound? Take it away, Greta. 

  1. How did your passion for social justice play into your interest to become an ACE? As a sociology major, I spend most of my days talking about inequality among races, classes, genders, etc. However, with all these problems presented to me daily, it has been hard to find action to create change. Becoming an ACE and working with my community partner, Upward Bound, have been wonderful resources over the past two months in developing my passions toward social justice and identifying how I to put these passions into action. 
  2. How has this experience added to what you already knew? I have already gained a more practical perspective of both education inequality in San Francisco and the difficulties that arise within nonprofit organizations. It has helped me take the statistics and practical knowledge I have gained around racial, economic, and social inequality and apply them to the real world.

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