Cassi Colangelo, ’22

Cassi Colangelo (she/her) graduated from UCLA in 2022 with a B.A. in Education and Social Transformation and a minor in Community Engagement and Social Change. During her time at UCLA, Cassi served as a Bruin Ambassador for UCLA’s Admissions Office, and Youth Coach for UCLA’s Bruin Guardian Scholars Academy. Following her B.A., Cassi continued her education at UCLA and recently received her M.Ed. in Student Affairs in 2023. While pursuing her Master’s, Cassi worked as a Coordinator for AAP’s Educators for Tomorrow Program, and Program Assistant for the Bruin Guardian Scholars Program.

Cassi is now entering her Ph.D. program at UCLA in the Social Science and Comparative Division. As a proud Asian American multiracial individual, she serves as the Multiracial Advocacy and Education Coordinator for the NASPA Transracial Adoptee and Multiracial Knowledge Community (TAMKC). She also continues her work as the Graduate Program Assistant for the Bruin Guardian Scholars Program which serves undergraduate and graduate-level students impacted by the child welfare system. Her current research focuses on amplifying the lived and institutional experiences of multiracial students, specifically including the experiences of AAPI womxn. Additionally, as the proud daughter of a transracial adoptee, her work also focuses on advocacy initiatives for the often-overlooked transracial adoptee population, including the amplification of counter-narratives for current and former foster youth. In the field, she hopes to disrupt conversations surrounding students’ racial identity development and challenge institutional policies and practices to better support their most vulnerable student populations.

Receiving the Norma J. Ehrlich scholarship greatly influenced Cassi’s educational journey by alleviating her financial burden, while also allowing her the opportunity to connect with a diverse group of powerful UCLA women who continue to serve as her support system.