WOHS alumna works for immigrant rights during COVID crisis

Esther Davila

WEST ORANGE, NJ — During the pandemic, West Orange High School Class of 2015 alumna Esther Davila has been busy at work, where she provides COVID-19 information and ensures the rights of immigrants during the pandemic.

Davila graduated from Boston University in 2019 with honors and a degree in health science and a minor in sociology. She had attended Redwood Elementary, Edison and Liberty Middle schools, and West Orange High School.

Both of Davila’s parents are Peruvian immigrants, motivating her to volunteer and intern with organizations that serve immigrant and marginalized communities. Her passion for social justice began at Boston Medical Center, where she served as a Health Leads’ patient advocate, connecting low-income and minority families to essential community-based resources.

“As the daughter of immigrants, I have witnessed the hardships my parents have had to face,” Davila said. “These experiences have shaped my passion for public service and commitment to helping others. By working closely on crucial social justice issues like hunger and poverty, I’ve learned the ability I have to uplift the voices of marginalized communities. I hope to take my fellowship experiences to continue finding ways of empowering these communities.”

Davila is currently a Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow through the Congressional Hunger Center. The 11-month program is designed to train and inspire new leaders in the movement to end hunger and poverty in the United States.

“For the first half of the program, I worked for an anti-hunger, community-based organization called ‘Just Harvest’ in Pittsburgh, Pa. For the second half of the program, I’m currently working at the Center for Law and Social Policy on their Income and Work Supports team,” Davila said. “My work at CLASP revolves around their Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign as I assist with ongoing projects related to the public charge policy. The campaign’s mission is to keep immigrant families across the country well-informed about their rights as changes occur under the public charge rule.”

Part of Davila’s efforts has been the dissemination of a COVID-19 informational flyer among the Latino population.

“I’d be more than happy to connect with anyone who may be interested in the fellowship or campaign work,” she said. Davila can be reached at [email protected]