June 14, 2024

JSI Scholar: Anna Varveris

  • Pronouns: She/They
  • Hometown: Merrick, New York
  • College/University: Adelphi University
  • Major: International Relations
  • Track: Residential

Tell us about your story

My name is Anna Varveris, and I am a first-generation Greek-Dominican-American college student studying International Relations with a minor in Latin American/Latinx Studies. I grew up in a multi-generational immigrant household in Long Island, New York, which shaped my perspectives on culture, trauma, discrimination, and migration.

What path did you take when you first started college?

As the first in my family to pursue college, I had some concerns about balancing familial obligations, work, extracurriculars, and academics. When I first started college, I joined my school’s Latino Student Association, which helped me meet people with similar experiences. I spoke extensively with faculty and professors, as well as fourth-year students who acted as mentors and were essential to my personal, academic, and professional development. As I approach my final year in undergraduate, I try to pay that same sentiment forward to current first-year students.

What made you consider a career in public policy/public service/international affairs?

My parents and grandparents grew up during times of war, economic turmoil, and dictatorships that led to their migration to the United States. I spent a lot of my childhood visiting family in my mom’s home country and observed issues such as poverty, environmental degradation, and gender inequality from a young age. As I grew older, I knew I wanted to make a career out of helping others and resolving these issues on a systemic level through policy changes.

Who inspires you to think about public service?

I am inspired by people every day, whether it is people who are actively changing their communities or the people who are in need of these changes. I would say some of my biggest inspirations have been my mentors, my family, and other activists around the world.

What are you most excited about the JSI program at UW?

I am excited to meet people with similar interests and develop the skills necessary to make positive changes in communities through the public service and policy arena.