Host Agency: Mercy Housing California
University: University California Davis
Citlali Plaza is a fourth-year Community and Regional Development student at the University of California, Davis. She was born and raised in Oxnard, California, and is a second-generation Mexican American. She contributes her success to the inspiring stories of her parents and grandparents (who were farmworkers and community organizers in Ventura County), who always emphasized the importance of community aid, hard work, and an education.
Citlali was fortunate to live in a stable home, but often spent time in her family’s home in local public housing projects. In her courses at UC Davis, she recognized the blessings and the importance of what a stable home provided for her mother, a local educator and community leader. As a student renter and an academic mentor for Latinx students in student housing, Citlali witnessed the struggles of other student renters in the area and began to become immersed with local housing advocacy for undergraduate students through ASUCD. Her experience in student government, student leadership, working at an Oxnard school district, and as an academic mentor for Latinx students, have enabled her to connect with others and grow as a leader.
The CCRH internship program is an opportunity for Citlali to learn about affordable housing alongside her studies about supporting and working to improved communities. Citlali hopes to pursue graduate studies and return to her hometown in hopes to provide the benefits of a stable, affordable home to local members.