Fellow:Marquita Shantell Valdez (2021)
Marquita is a student at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah where she has lived with her daughters for the past three years. She was born and raised in Ogden, Utah before deciding to attend Utah Valley University as a Criminal Justice Major. Marquita minors in Entrepreneurship and concentrates on Leadership. Her professional goals are to attend law school and to use her education and life experience to encourage law changes with in the system.
She is passionate around issues relating to re-entry and higher education as alternative sentencing. She intends to change laws for individuals of diverse backgrounds. Marquita is extremely resilient and is not afraid to stand up to stand out.
The mother of four teenaged daughters and a non-traditional student Marquita uses her experiences and education to offer a fresh, new perspective to each area of education she involves herself in. Her uncanny ability to engage others in her conversation as well as her written word is fascinating.
Her incredible story shows ones ability to make sustaining changes and growth when life seems impossible.
President of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars
Vice President of UVU R.A.I.C.E.S. Club
Student Leader in the UVU L.E.A.D. Program
Founder of Breaking Barriers Utah