Princeton senior Sánchez awarded ReachOut Fellowship for public service

Princeton senior Emily Sánchez has been awarded a fellowship from ReachOut 56-81-06, an alumni-funded effort that supports year-long public service projects after graduation. Sánchez will develop a podcast series on the history of Latino communities across New Jersey.

Emily Sanchez

Emily Sánchez

The project, “Podcasting History: An Opportunity to Bring Latino Voices Inside New Jersey’s History Classrooms,” will be designed to diversify voices within secondary school history curricula and to support teachers in covering learning objectives required by the New Jersey Social Studies Learning Standards. Sánchez will work with the New Jersey Hispanic Research Information Center at the Newark Public Library.

ReachOut will provide a stipend of $35,000 to pay for living expenses during her fellowship year.

Sánchez, a history concentrator pursuing certificates in Latino studies and Latin American studies, grew up in Clifton and Paterson, New Jersey. She was inspired to design the podcast project due to a lack of representation of her own Peruvian-American community in her secondary school history curriculum and in library archives.

“I'm a first-generation Peruvian-American,” Sánchez said. “My mother (from the Cajamarca region of Perú) immigrated to New Jersey in the 1990s and my father (from the Ancash region) in the late 1980s. I grew up in a predominantly Latino neighborhood, and always felt very connected to my Peruvian heritage due to the strong Peruvian community in Passaic County.”

Although the podcasts will be designed with secondary school students in mind, the series will be available through the Newark Public Library and New Jersey Hispanic Research Information Center so the history of Latin American migrant communities in New Jersey is accessible to more audiences.

Trisha Thorme, Director of the Program for Community-Engaged Scholarship (ProCES), said the ReachOut fellowship will allow Sánchez to broadly share her research on Peruvian-American history.

“Emily’s unwavering commitments to marginalized communities and the discipline of history were evident in our very first meeting,” Thorme said. “She spoke passionately about the Peruvian community in Paterson, New Jersey and the power of scholarship, in the form of an oral history project, to improve lives.”

Sánchez’s senior thesis also explores history rooted in her hometown. Titled “Dismantling Urban Development,” the thesis explores how working-class people of color in Paterson spearheaded the construction of affordable housing and design of housing policy in the 1960s and 1970s.

Sánchez said she hopes to become an academic historian who continues to diversify curricula.

“After the ReachOut fellowship, I hope to continue studying Latino history in graduate school and eventually teach history at a college level,” she said. “I hope to continue my collaborations with teachers and researchers, with the goal of diversifying history curricula across the country.”

Associate Professor of History Rosina Lozano said Sánchez has been a “standout” student since her first year at Princeton. Lozano advised Sánchez’s junior paper on Peruvian immigrants in Paterson and taught her in several classes. Sánchez also worked for Lozano as a research assistant.

“Emily has the analytical mind of a historian, and she has become a highly successful independent researcher,” Lozano said. “She has an incredible ability to analyze and make connections across historical documents.”

Lozano added that Sánchez’s undergraduate research has contributed greatly to documenting the history of Peruvian immigrants in New Jersey.

“Emily’s junior paper considers how Peruvians changed their perception of Paterson and Peru through several decades,” Lozano said. “She conducted extensive interviews, even during the pandemic, and took the initiative to make sure others will benefit from the words of these early Peruvian immigrants by working with the public library to house the interviews after she completes the research.”

Sánchez received the Department of History’s Shelby Cullom Davis Award for Independent Research and has been published in “Americas: The John Hopkins University Journal of Latin American Studies.” She also received the TUMI USA Award of Excellence for her contributions to the Peruvian-American community in Paterson and Clifton, New Jersey.

Her research and service work includes roles at Princeton as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, a ProCES Derian Fellow and John C. Bogle Fellow in Civic Service. She also was a member of the Pace Center for Civic Engagement’s Service Focus program.

A residential college adviser in Mathey College, Sánchez was an English as a second language tutor at El Centro in Trenton, a member of the Latin American Students Association and a summer student adviser at the SEEDS Scholars Program in Newark, which helps low-income and high achieving middle school students apply to independent schools.