Andres Mata is a 2017 graduate of Salina High School South. Andres currently attends Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. He previously attended Bethel College and Hesston College.
Andres has been active in politics and public service his entire life, beginning at the age of 9. At the age of 11, Andres led a fundraising effort for the country of Haiti, which raised over $1,700 in two weeks. At the age of 13, Andres was appointed by Mayor Norm Jennings to serve on the Salina Human Relations Commission, he served from 2012-2015. During his sophomore year of high school, Andres was appointed by Mayor Jon Blanchard to the Salina City Planning Commission, he served from 2015-2017. By serving, Andres played a significant role of being the voice of his generation in the overall social and economic development of Salina.
Since 2017, he has been part of the Mennonite Central Committee’s advocacy team. Every fall, Andres travels to Washington D.C. to lobby Members of Congress on a wide range of issues that affect Kansans and Americans alike. Andres focuses most of his advocacy efforts in Kansas and Oklahoma.
Recently, Andres was awarded the 2019-2020 Student Leader Community Award by Bethany College for his report on food insecurity which led to the creation of the Dala Pantry, a food pantry in Lindsborg.
While not doing anything political, Andres enjoys traveling, being outdoors, keeping up with professional sports, particularly soccer and football, and being with friends and family.
Director of Legal Services
Alvaro Escobedo is a 2017 graduate of Salina South High School and 2019 graduate of Fort Hays State University. In Fall of 2019, he attended the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs through a student exchange program and served as a legislative aide for Colorado U.S. Senator Michael F. Bennet’s Congressional office while simultaneously working as an office assistant for the Lutheran Refugee Services of Colorado Springs.
Alvaro has attended a World Relief Immigration Law Training which provided legal resources for helping refugees, immigrants, and asylees request protection, file petitions, submit applications, and represent individuals in immigration court. Alvaro has advocated for immigrant rights his whole life and as a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, he has worked effortlessly to help immigrants like him achieve their dreams.
He volunteers for Catholic Charities summer program Prayer and Action, Sigma Chi’s Huntsman Cancer Institute, and helps on political campaigns advocating for positive change. Additionally, he has served as a Saline County commissioner for the Heritage Commission, as a grant review committee member for the Greater Salina Community Foundation, and as a City of Salina Youth Ambassador.
Alvaro enjoys listening to music (Frank Ocean is his favorite), traveling, kayaking, Colorado mountains, playing sports and being active, watching David Dobrik’s videos, and laughing at tik toks when he’s not saving the world.
Fatima Contreras is a 2016 graduate of Salina Central High School and has been studying at Fort Hays State University ever since. In May of 2021, she plans on receiving her Bachelors in Social Work and then pursuing a Masters Degree the following year.
At Fort Hays State University, Fatima has been very involved. Her involvement is as follows; Student Assistant for Student Engagement where she works primarily with transition, inclusion and diversity, The National Society of Leadership and Success, Welcome and Orientation Leader, member of the Hispanic American Leadership Organization, Leader at the Hispanic College Institute and was a winner for the NASPA IV-W Rising Star Award for actively being involved and demonstrating campus leadership.
Currently, she holds the title of Miss Hays Latina. For her platform, she has chosen depression within new immigrant families in a community. Mental health is important and many people do not have the resources. Fatima has advocated for immigrant rights, equality, and mental health her whole life.
Fatima enjoys going to concerts, traveling, playing soccer, being adventurous, hanging with friends and family, listening to music and having a good time.
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