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Lancaster Stands Up Lancaster Stands Up

Meet Kareena Rios

February 15, 2019

Meet Kareena Rios

Hello good people. I was born and raised in Lancaster City on the East End. My family is Puerto Rican, and I went to the School District of Lancaster. My favorite places to pass the time to this day are the public library, Musser Park, house of pizza, Square One, and Villarba. In my teens I was apart of my high school’s first GSA, and I volunteered with Lancaster Pride’s youth outreach committee. I graduated from JP McCaskey in 2009 and spent a couple years working in restaurants while going to HACC part time. Later I moved to Seattle where I worked as a bank teller and Spanish translator. In my time in Seattle I also volunteered with the youth-lead campaign ‘No New Youth Jail.’ I currently live in Lancaster Township with my husband Kevin and our two kids Ramón & Rosario.

I became involved with LSU in 2017 after Hurricane Maria had left me feeling completely abandoned by the government. I attended some recruitment meetings and realized LSU could give me the tools I needed to reach other frustrated Latinx people in Lancaster in hopes of advocating for the health and safety of our people on the island. In 2018, I became a committed volunteer by translating literature, flyering, and recruiting other volunteers. In the spring we organized a Latinx Community meeting in hopes of engaging more Latinx people in our mission. I also spent the summer registering folks to vote in York and Lancaster Counties. In August, I was given the opportunity to join the leadership team. I feel honored to be included in conversations about the long term direction and overall strategy of Lancaster Stands Up. In the fall of 2018 I joined our core canvass team, canvassing almost every day leading up to the midterm election.

My goals include recruiting working class people of color to be leaders in their/our communities, breaking down barriers to quality education for our youth and young adults, and making civic education accessible for working class and poor people. I am dedicated to empowering our community to speak up and speak out about the injustices we are facing. I believe in the ability of every day people to create positive equitable solutions to national problems like homelessness, child hunger, and racism. This Winter, I announced my run for school director on the school board of SDOL and will be campaigning on equitable education, community involvement, and disciplinary policy reform. It is my hope that volunteering my time on the school board will bring more awareness to the gaps in our educational system and address them so that all children regardless of income and background may have access to a quality education.