Gélser Zavala is a rising senior majoring in Legal Studies after transferring from Laney College with a AA in Paralegal Studies and Social Sciences. He is an East Oakland born and raised native, the son of war refugees from El Salvador who migrated to California in the late 1980s. Growing up in a working class family, Gélser endured challenges in his public education with insidious systems of underfunded policies for school, gang-violence, teen pregnancy, and dropping out of high school. However, he was the first in his family to attain his high school diploma and enroll in his local community college.
Gélser successfully transferred to U.C. Berkeley for Fall 2021, is a U.C. Berkeley Regents’ and Chancellor Scholar, and participating in the George A. Miller Scholar’s research program where he is developing his project that focuses on the narratives and experiences of Cal Central-Americans navigating higher education currently, and past Alum. Furthermore, Gélser is a communications intern for California Speaker Anthony Rendon, the longest serving Latine Speaker of the California State Assembly getting an exposure and understanding of the state’s legislative processes and the intersection with media and communications.
Gélser aims for Summer 2022 to participate in a different facet of public service, aiming to participate in a government agency to learn about how policy is implemented, enforced, and the interagency collaborations of government departments.
Major(s): Legal Studies