Meet UndocuGrad Norma, MA in Public Policy from Harvard University


(Interviewed by Carolina)

Norma Torres was born in Queretaro, Mexico. She immigrated to the United States with her mother when she was nine years old looking for the American Dream. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and plans to graduate in 2016. Norma’s long-term career goal is to run for office and serve her community.

When applying to graduate school, what was most beneficial to you? The Public Policy & International Affairs Program (PPIA) was the most beneficial aspect of my graduate studies. PPIA is a fellowship that I participated in my junior year at Princeton University. It is a summer long fellowship that brings students together from all over the world who are passionate about serving the public. During this program I was able to learn about the process of applying to graduate school. In addition, there is funding associated to certain graduate schools upon completing the program. PPIA changed my life, and I strongly recommend it to anyone who is interested in policy, politics and overall improving our communities.

What do you like the most about graduate school? I love attending Harvard Kennedy School because I get the opportunity to interact with some of the most intelligent individuals from across the world. My best friend here is from Australia 🙂 Some days are extremely fascinating because I have some of the most constructive conversations about how to end poverty in the U.S., how to solve our immigration problems, or how Mexico and U.S. relations can be strengthened. Other days I have more troubling conversations about race and inequality, and although I don’t always see eye to eye with my classmates, I enjoy hearing other people’s perspectives. More than anything, I am extremely thankful to have the opportunity to think about and implement policy ideas that will hopefully leave the world a little better than I found it.


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Categories: Applying to Grad School, Navigating Grad School, UndocuGrads: Stories of former and current undocumented grad students

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