Abigail Morales

Abigail Morales is a second-year student at UC Santa Barbara working to attain a B.A. in Sociology. Through her current undergraduate coursework, she intends on using her advanced critical thinking skills towards the betterment of society. Her core positions in two campus organizations, La Escuelita de UCSB and the United Student Labor Action Coalition, have exposed her to community service opportunities that have expanded her career interests in social work, counseling, and education. Abigail wishes to pursue higher education in the future in hopes to better prepare herself in her chosen career. Although her professional occupation is not clear, Abigail is determined and has the potential to achieve the career path of her choice.

A Take on Change

For my year-long project, I choose to explore what drives individuals to do good or honorable humanitarian work at UC-Santa Barbara and in Southern California. The experiences of community leaders joining a community-oriented campus organization(s), remaining in the organization(s), and the future they envisioned for themselves and their group were recorded through a survey and interview process I created. The individuals were chosen based on their leadership roles and the focus of their organization(s) to display a range of community-oriented work. Phone call interviews were conducted to three student leaders at UC Santa Barbara where the 5 questions raised surrounded their journey navigating their chosen organization(s). Each individual was informed of their choice of displaying their names, pronouns, and any personal experiences shared. In addition, the experiences of the author were included. The experiences of the individuals chosen and the author revealed key moments that shifted their choices to search for community that not only shared their interests and values, but acknowledged them. Each individual wanted to recreate the validation they received from another person(s) through their chosen community. Furthermore, I found that interpersonal relationships with their peers or the community they assist often inspired them to continue their work. It is possible that these peers and the assisted community are not aware of the impact they have created. 

Link to research essay and findings.

Creative Writing Sample


I’m usually just sitting in the cabinet with my fillings hoping someone will pick me up. And when you do, I get so happy. Sometimes I travel to more places than others to help you with cakes, cupcakes, or cookies. One time, it was your brother’s birthday party. I bet you didn’t know I was watching the whole party unwrap. You were rushing to finish the cake, so you put me in a plastic bag, swung me around down 54th Street, and we arrived at a park. And the best part yet, my purpose was fulfilled every time you spread my icing onto the cake. There’s some greatness in that. There were other things I noticed in this special time outside my place. I noticed how I could hear the people around us, friends and families speaking to each other without really understanding what they were saying. I saw kids fighting over toys and I saw your puzzled face when random children started to appear near the table. In the midst of all of this, you were organizing the items on the table trying to make everything perfect. I remember the sky transitioning, fading, and the street lights flickering until they were still. And so the people began to leave, saying their goodbyes and wishing your brother a Happy Birthday. Before I realized, I was in my plastic bag traveling down 54th street again and when we reached home, I was placed in my cabinet one more time.