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José F. Oliva immigrated to Greensboro, North Carolina from Jutiapa, Guatemala in 2011. Upon his arrival, Oliva did not know English, and was behind in academics. Oliva soon emerged as a leader among newcomers in Greensboro and was appointed as a student advisor to the Superintendent of Guilford County Schools. Oliva graduated eighth in his high school class and was a member of the National Honor Society. Oliva is currently a junior student, and Bonner Scholar at Guilford College. He is the first in his family to attend college. 


Aug 2013May 2017

Bachelor of Arts, Economics and Political Science

Guilford College 

Bonner Scholar, 2013-present

North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership Fellow,  Fall 2015

First Latino Student Body President, Guilford College, 2014-2015

Academic Research: Brazil's Debt Crisis. Dr. Robert Williams, mentor


Apr 2015Present


International Advisory Committee (IAC), City of Greensboro
  • IAC serves as the voice of the international community to the Human Relations Commission, and the City Council
  • IAC advise City Council on public policy, and immigrant and refugee affairs
  • Elected to position by first time community vote
  • Serve as liaison among members of the international community and city council, city departments, service providers, and other organizations
  • Assist in the planning and development of a strategic plan 
  • Provide administrative assistant for IAC
  • Coordinate communication matters in behalf of IAC
Nov 2015Present

Student Leader

Student Coalition Against Institutional, Systemic, and  Structural Racism, Guilford College   
  • Present, and request immediate attention from the college to address  institutional, systemic, and structural racism on campus 
  • Work with President Jane Fernandes, Senior Administrators, and Board of Trustees to reform the Judicial Affairs and Public Safety Departments, recruitment process and retention of minorities, and diversification of faculty and staff
  • Advised the President on the creation and structure of an Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Dec 2015Present


North Carolina Immigrant Rights Program, American Friends Service Committee of the Carolinas (AFSC)
  • Identify emerging community leaders and mentors to participate in six-months training program sponsor by AFSC
  • Connect emerging community leaders with local community organizations, and working groups addressing immigrant and refugee issues
  • Provide legislative support to Let’s Learn Triad group working towards tuition equity for undocumented students
  • Help guide AFSC and coalition Get Out The Vote  (GOTV) efforts related to Latino voters
Jan 2015Dec 2016


College Commission, City of Greensboro
  • Identified and facilitated cross-campus collaboration
  • Participated in economic development initiatives
  • Worked on addressing poverty, and food insecurity in Greensboro
  • Collaborated with grass-root organization to increases civic engagement of college students
  • Lobbied City Council, and General Assembly to address tuition inequities in higher education affecting undocumented students
  • Served as a liaison between the City, college campuses, and other organizations
Jul 2015Nov 2015

Chair of Fundraising, and Communications  

Soy un Lider College Access Conference, Multicultural Education Department, Guilford College
  • Developed, and led a $16,000 fundraising campaign; major donors included the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation, Replacements, Ltd., McKinney Immigration Law, among others
  • Successfully used social media to fundraise $5,000 from small donations, and recruit 100 students to attend the conference 
  • Facilitated a video production 
  • Organized a college fair with colleges and universtities committed to recruit, and support Latino and international students in North Carolina
Aug 2015Nov 2015

Guest Writer

The Guilfordian Newspaper, Guilford College
  • Covered a range of areas (e.g. news, features, opinion, etc.) as a reporter
  • Wrote an opinion series encouraging cross campus collaboration
  • Covered Presidential Inauguration of Jane Fernandes; first deaf woman President of Guilford, and of an American hearing college/university 
Jun 2015Jul 2015


The Humanitarian Immigration Clinic at Elon Law, Elon University
  • Provided Spanish interpretation services to clients 
  • Translated a variety of legal documents from Spanish to English 
Jun 2015Jul 2015

Intern and Camp Director

Camp Allelu, Westover Church
  • Developed a summer camp curriculum with a variety of activities, English as a Second Language classes, job, college, and cultural workshops for 60 newcomers to the US
  • Recruited and trained a team of 40 counselors
  • Worked on other camp logistics such as camp venue, transportation, food, and camper applications
Apr 2014May 2015


Student Gorvement, Guilford College
  • Provided leadership for forty student organizations and clubs. Responsible for $400,000 student activities fee budget
  • Appointed and provided leadership to student representatives in Board of Trustees' and campus-wide committees
  • Linked students and administrators to solve important institutional issues
  • Served as a student representative in the following committees; the Strategic Long-Range Plan, Student Affairs of the Board of Trustees, President Jane Fernandes First Year Transition as President of the College, January Term (Winter Term) Assessment, and the Search for the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Aug 2013May 2015


Roads to College Independent Project, Bonner Center for Community Service and Learning, Guilford College
  • Created program vision, and mission focusing on serving marginalized populations, especially immigrant and refugee communities
  • Facilitated multiple college workshops including financial aid, college application process, choosing the right college, etc.
  • Planned, fundraised, and organized multiple college workshops educating high and middle school students and parents
Aug 2014May 2015

Manager and Resident Advisor

International Living Community, Residential Education, Guilford College 
  • Created/Developed a positive living environment designed to link students, faculty, and staff
  • Planed and organized cultural events
  • Peer counseling/support
  • Conflict Resolution
Jan 2015Jan 2015


Office of Advancement, Guilford College 
  • Maintained alumni, parents, and students database
  • Handled office correspondence
  • Answered phone calls
  • Event planning


Notable Latinos of the Triad Award, Latino Community Coalition of Guilford County, to be presented in 2016

Community Involvement, Latino Diamante Award, Diamante Inc., 2015

First Latino President of Student Senate, Journey in Blackness Award, Multicultural Education Department, Guilford College, 2015