Not many college students can put on their resume that they’ve discussed policy issues with a world leader, but Keiry Sosa Velazquez, a Freshman politics major at Regis University, was one of 16 students from around the world who had the opportunity to discuss immigration and refugee policy with Pope Francis.
Sosa Velazquez’s focus is on broadening the narrative around immigration and improving how immigrants are perceived. “Oftentimes Americans hear the word immigrant and think a lot of negative stereotypes,” she told The Denver North Star.
Sosa Velazquez said that as a Catholic being able to speak with the head of the Church was a once in a lifetime experience she won’t forget. “For me it meant a lot. As an undocumented individual myself, we’re stigmatized … It’s giving me the opportunity to tell my story,” adding she wants “little kids who are immigrants like me” to see higher education as a stepping stone to a better future. She’s thankful for the scholarship Regis gave her that’s allowing her to attend. “A lot of universities close the doors to immigrants without recognizing the talent that they have.”
Sosa Velazquez also received a personal blessing from the pope during their conversation; she turned 19 the day they talked.