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El Mundo Boston 2018.

LINA MARIA CAÑON

Grants Management Associate, Imago Dei Fund
Host, Activist Hustle Podcast

Age: 28

Heritage: Colombian 

 

Lina Maria Cañon was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia. She has always been committed to creating multifaceted access for marginalized individuals and communities.

 

Lina is the first in her family to attend college, and as a result, she felt she had to take every opportunity given to her. She received a full scholarship as an honors student in high school to Suffolk University. While in college, she earned a bachelor’s in Government with a concentration in International Affairs and Sociology with a concentration on Criminal Justice. At the same time, Lina was involved in multiple student groups and held various leadership positions. Her passion for engaging in social change efforts was born through her work as a Service Scholar while at Suffolk University, where she was responsible for managing the Alternative Spring Break Program. 

 

Since graduating, Lina has managed, enhanced and created programs focused on a variety of topics including homelessness, civic engagement, education, and youth advocacy. Other related experiences include serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Chicago and being a Peer Advisor for the Obama Foundation. Lina has been tirelessly advocating for equity and access, particularly for youth, across all sectors. She restructured and enhanced the volunteer and internship program at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate and was the intermediary for student internships at Boston nonprofits through the College for Social Innovation. 

 

Lina has been working full time as a Grants Management Associate for Imago Dei Fund (IDF) for over a year now. Her transition into the nonprofit field, from operations and direct service to the grantmaking side, has been a great learning opportunity for her. In addition to her work with IDF, Lina works with Students for Cross-Cultural Solidarity, bringing college students on service trips to El Salvador. She hosts a podcast, The Activist Hustle, in which she elevates the voices of millennials and Gen-Zs that are making a difference in their communities. Lina is currently pursuing her MBA from Boston University's Questrom.

 

The most influential factors in getting Lina to this point have been her family, her mentors, and her community. Being Latinx has influenced her career and work in nonprofit greatly and is what shaped her experience in this country. The experience of being first generation, growing up in a low-income setting and facing the obstacles that the Latinx community encounters are Lina’s biggest drivers for creating change through access. She understands it is about more than representation. It is about access, creation, ownership and solidarity.  In the future, Lina hopes to continue to create access for the groups who have been habitually under-resourced to achieve equity in housing, education and economic opportunity.