Yanley Rocha – helping those in need


Yanley Rocha said she chose to come to Newman University because, “it is close enough to home, but you are still able to have the college experience.”

For Rocha, “home” is now Oklahoma City, where she, her parents and two younger brothers settled seven years ago after moving from Durango, Mexico.

Rocha is now a senior at Newman majoring in sociology and criminal justice, and minoring in pre-law.

Rocha, with Professor of Sociology Larry Heck, Ph.D.

“I chose criminal justice and pre-law thinking of pursuing a law career after college,” Rocha said. “I decided to major in sociology after taking Principles of Sociology with [Newman Professor of Sociology] Dr. Heck. I have developed a passion for both sciences.”

Double majoring while also studying pre-law obviously makes for a formidable schedule, but that’s what Rocha likes. On top of her regular studies, she is an ASC Community Scholar, and has been student president of the Newman Hispanic American Leadership Organization (HALO), and coordinator of the recycling team on campus. Off campus, she is involved in Sunflower Community Action, the Immigrant Family Support Network, and prefers to hold at least two part-time jobs.

Rocha’s biggest goal is, in her own words, “to help those in need and make this a better world,” a goal she works toward through 45 hours of volunteer work per semester. Rocha was recognized for her community service and other achievements in September 2011, when she received the Hispanic Rising Star Award from the Wichita Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Though a large part of her decision to attend Newman was because of its proximity to home, Rocha has found that the university can help her achieve her goals as well.

“Once I got here, I found that Newman has a great commitment to serving the community, and really empowers students.”