From September 15 to October 15, we join our nation in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month. While AU honors the cultures and contributions of Hispanic and Latino American members of our society all year long, we also believe that we must seize upon each and every opportunity to do so in a more publicized way.
Today we shine a spotlight on two special members of the Latino community, both proud graduates of American University who value the education and worldly exposure they experienced during their time at AU.
Meet Annie Mayol, SPA/BA ’97, and Melina Olmo, SIS/BA ’99
Annie Mayol graduated from American University with a degree in political science. Melina Olmo graduated in 1999 from the School of International Service. Since then, the two have continued to work closely with AU as members of the Latino Alumni Alliance, supporting the Latino community both domestically and abroad.
Annie has been involved in key positions in local, state, and federal government, including having been the Northeast Political Director for the White House under President George W Bush, Federal Affairs and National Policy Advisor for the Governor of Puerto Rico, and work with the Deputy Mayor of Operations for Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
Annie is currently president and COO of Foundation for Puerto Rico, a 502c(3) public charity seeking to transform Puerto Rico into a destination for the world by driving economic and social development through sustainable strategies. Foundation for Puerto Rico is a leading non-profit organization working with state and federal governments in the recovery efforts after hurricanes Irma and Maria. For that reason, FPR is aggressively recruiting talent to help them implement programs to drive long-term economic impact.
Here is where the AU connection comes in…
Annie reached out to Melina as a fellow AU alumna who is dedicated in her leadership role as the current chair of the LAA. Melina has an extensive background in advocacy and government relations, and is extremely passionate about the redevelopment and economic future of Puerto Rico. Thanks in part to their AU connection, Melina was hired to be part of their team and joined Annie in ensuring that Puerto Rico and Foundation for Puerto Rico continue to garner financial support needed to rebuild the island.
Annie and Melina are incredibly grateful for their AU connection and continue to show their Eagle pride through their involvement with the LAA, including annual contributions to the LAA Book Award. The LAA Book Award is an annual scholarship awarded to Latino students to offer financial support and mentorship opportunities.
“We must be in a position to support the academic access and emotional needs of our Latino students. I love AU,” Melina says. “I have a vision of an inclusive AU, where the diversity of Latino alumni is represented across all schools, at every level, to build engagement, and extend post graduate career connections to all alumni."