Melani Cruz Stokes is a student at Rutgers University, Camden, studying criminal studies and law. Raised in southern New Jersey, Melani is committed to activism and public service beyond her academics. As president of the Define American Rutgers Camden chapter, she organizes campaigns that advocate for more resources for undocumented students. Her volunteer work with the Camden County Juvenile Conference Committee is also rewarding. She gives minority Camden youth, who commit first-time minor offenses, a second chance instead of going in front of a judge and becoming another statistic in the criminal justice system. Through these experiences, she understands the importance of allies to advocate for both criminal justice reform and immigrant rights. She aspires to improve social justice for all underrepresented communities through the field of law. Upon graduation next May, she will attend law school and create more opportunities for others as an aspiring immigration/criminal attorney.
Updated May 2020