Ayline Ruelas is a 22-year-old first generation college student. She grew up watching both her parents having multiple jobs to make ends meet. It wasn’t until she decided to take advantage of her education at community college despite feeling uncertain and lost whether education was the right path for her. She realized a common denominator with first generation-low-income students like herself, not having the ability to succeed at the same rate as other students. In effort to challenge these statistics, she began to advocate for herself in her journey through higher education. She quickly began getting involved around campus where she volunteered as a mentor for incoming college students for diverse programs throughout her community college program. When Ayline transferred to Cal, she struggled holding grasp of the institution given that it was during a global pandemic and haven switch to an online setting made it more challenging for all. Nonetheless, she realized that helping her community was a way to give back to all the people who constantly made efforts to support her and motivate her to transfer. It’s the idea of giving back, that Ayline describes as something “powerful,” that allows her to bring down the ladder for others to join her and be successful. As a first-generation student, it never is easy, but it’s not impossible when you have guidance and mentors.
Currently, in effort to continue volunteering and helping others, she is a SPMP mentor and helps transfer students adjust to Cal. She is also Director of Internal Affairs for the Latinx Pre- Law Society (LPLS) program where she helps students who share a common goal of law school find ground and learn about resources to reach success in law school. Ayline is also Co-Founder of a digital identity company called BizSecure and works with local government to allow users to have full autonomy of their own identity. She has worked with previous Majority Leader Ian Calderon, shaping Bill AB 2004 for verifiable health credentials using blockchain. Ayline was born and raised in San Diego CA, and living near one of the biggest international borders, made her aware of injustice and systemic racism. Due to this, she has also interned for her local District Attorney’s office to help translate and talk to immigrants who committed a crime. She has also worked with the Department of Justice back in San Diego, to develop new ways to make resources more available and improve relations with low-income families and police enforcement. This summer, Ayline hopes to intern for a local government office that is interested in establishing methods to make higher education more accessible by allowing more equal access while bringing down barriers for English learners. She is also interested in advocating to improve the qualities of life in communities using verifiable credentials, specially post covid where people are still misoriented about the future.
Major(s): Political Science