Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

January 24, 2022

OMA&D Staff Spotlight – Hugo

The University of Washington has no shortage of students, faculty, and staff who exemplify the ways in which we fulfil our public promise. These extraordinary people do this through service to others across the state in their jobs at the university, and also through volunteerism in their life away from campus.

Meet Hugo, OMA&D‘s coordinator for Leadership Without Borders! Hugo came to the U.S. at 2 years old as an undocumented minor. His life experiences reflect ways in which undocumented individuals around the country live in constant uncertainty. He has also recognized the strengths of advocacy, “We have power in many other things, in our voices and advocating for ourselves,” Hugo says. He now channels what he has learned into supporting and celebrating undocumented students at the UW.

Hugo didn’t always want to do social work, earning his degrees in business and human resources management. He was given the opportunity to do community work with youth, saying, “I’ve always had a passion to work with youth.” All of his work both inside and outside of UW, has taught him so much about himself and others. Hugo defines the importance of his work as “providing access, support, and amplifying voices because a lot of these kids may feel really alone.”

When not working advocating for undocumented students at UW, Hugo volunteers in his broader community. Much of his volunteer work is with the organization Friends Of Youth as a youth counselor who works with foster kids, many of who had been detained at the border. Through doing this work, he has been able to provide resources to and support the young people who needed it. This allows him to serve his community and show he truly believes in the future of the kids that he works with.

Hugo is an inspiration to those around him, and a shining example of fulfilling our public promise to serve. #UWServes