Student spotlight: Gabriella La Caria

To highlight some of Project Cities' star students and faculty, PC staff sat down to interview Gabby La Caria, an undergraduate student in the School of Social Transformation. With a double major in Justice Studies and Public Service and Public Policy, Gabby is focusing on law and policy, hoping to attend law school in the future. She is interested in racial and social justice and wants to pursue constitutional law since it affects everyday people.

As part of Greg Broberg’s JUS 301 Research Methods course, Gabby worked on the Community Engagement project with the City of Peoria. The goals of this project were to collect data to figure out how Peoria can improve its community engagement methods. Since Gabby grew up in the City of Peoria, she was interested in learning more about how residents feel about their community, focusing on the Latino community.

The following dialogue and summary come from an interview with Gabby about her experience in the Project Cities program.

Group of people
JUS 301 students at City of Peoria Arts & Cultural Festival

Question: What were some of your key takeaways from your experience in terms of professional development or educational outcomes?

Answer: Working on a larger class project can be challenging but also demonstrates the importance of a collective team effort, “It’s definitely hard working with a big group on one focus, bit it’s also extremely satisfying. Once the showcase was done and we got to see all of our work on that slide, it was realy great, it felt like we were in a professional setting and that we were able to produce this really great product for the city and its residents.”

“I feel like my purpose is to serve others and I think the best way for me to help is to be an active member in my community and to achieve justice through law and policy for everday working people.”

Question: What does sustainability mean to you?

Answer: “Sustainability to me, means finding solutions to meet and satisfy the needs of all people now, while keeping in mind, and without compromising the practices that can be used for future generations to enjoy our planet and live in peace and prosperity.”

Question: What are you passionate about? What motivates you to study and work for your interests?

Answer: “I am extremely passionate about racial and social justice. I also plan to hopefully go into some sort of appellate law, or constitutional law, so that I can actively work on those laws and policies that will affect everyday people. Hopefully, with my work, I'll be able to gain some justice for the people who have been significantly underrepresented or disproportionately represented within our society.”

Question: Do you have any parting advice for students that are coming into the Project Cities program or ASU students in general?

Answer: “Be willing to put in the hard work. Whatever it is that you’re going to do is going to be difficult. If you stay engaged with your work, ask questions and create, have meaningful connections with your peers and professors, you’ll have a better change at being successful.”

Project Cities is a member of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network (EPIC-N) and is administered by ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory and the Sustainable Cities Network. Stay up to date with Project Cities and the Sustainable Cities Network by following us on social media or subscribing to our newsletter