Vianney A. Gavilanes was born in Jalisco, Mexico and grew up in San Leandro, CA. She graduated from UCSC in 2008 with a BA in Sociology with departmental honors. These last four years since graduation have provided Vianney enriching experiences that further confirm her commitment to better serve youth from under-resourced communities. Vianney believes education is a tool individuals and communities can use to create social change by engaging critically with their own educational process while upholding the values of diversity and social justice. Being a first-generation-college-student graduate has allowed her to recognize the critical role social and political activism plays within the education of under-served students, and is now invested in aiding other youth become more socially and politically conscious.
E4FC’s Creative Writing Program has a strong significance for her due to the layering of meanings that her writings and the act of writing them engenders in her. These pieces are a testament of both Vianney’s physical journey to the U.S., and her emotional journey in the act of re-membering herself as she fleshes them out. These pieces are part of her self-healing process that began with her first writing workshop in the summer of 2011. This process is both personal and communal for her, and it has marked the beginning of writing as therapy, writing as re-membering, and writing to make her whole again.