Ariela Canizal '17 (MA)Ariela Canizal '17 (MA) is a First-Generation college student who continues to make an impact in USD's campus climate. Ariela's story was highlighted in USD Magazine where she shares her thoughts on the Rainbow Educator Program.

Ariela has a social justice lens in all that she does. She has helped many students to feel at home at USD and is a strong advocate for both graduate Students and undergraduate students at USD. Ariela is primarily passionate about empowering the underrepresented students. In her words, “I value the student as an individual and believe we are all learners and teachers as we strive to create a learning community that provides space for a multiplicity of voices, and believe that as a community we should challenge and support one another on our collective and individual journey.”

Ariela has been a key contributor to the First-Generation Action Team. As a First-Generation college student, Ariela feels strongly about supporting other students who share this identity. She has contributed to creating programs and resources where students who identify as First Generation can come together with fellow students, staff, faculty, and allies to discuss the experiences and challenges around this identity. Most powerful has been her enthusiasm to share her story that these various events. Thanks to her efforts, the work to support this group of students will only continue to grow.