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CSI assistant dean shares her undocumented story, how she's helping others with similar stories

Posted at 5:39 PM, Sep 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-19 19:39:08-04

Monze Stark's background is a similar story to many across the country — the reality of being undocumented.

Stark was born in Mexico but migrated to the Magic Valley at the young age of six years old. She was able to obtain her green card while in high school.

She continued her education and graduated with her Bachelor's and Masters from the University of Idaho. After graduating, she said she knew she wanted to help the Hispanic and Latino community.

"I decided to spread my wings and find a solution, an opportunity for me to help students that were in the same situation as me once upon a time,” said Stark, assistant dean of enrollment at the College of Southern Idaho.

Related: First-generation CSI student pursuing degree at Idaho's only Hispanic Serving Institution

Last year, the College of Southern Idaho became the first Hispanic-serving institution, meaning at least 25% identify as Hispanic.

Stark said she understands many students might be in the same undocumented status as she once was, but just like her, they are too embarrassed to share their similar stories.

"Now I think it's a point of pride to be able to show our students que sí se puede,” said Stark.

She now knows more than ever her position, and her staff members play an essential role in ensuring not just all students but Hispanic students can pursue their education goals and feel welcomed and accepted at a Hispanic serving institution.