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my pace

Agbulos

Career Preparation

People Power

Nelli Agbulos ’17
Political Science, BA and Women’s and Gender Studies, BA
Dyson College of Arts and Sciences
NYC Campus

"Pace kind of found me, in a way," says political science and women’s and gender studies double major Marianelli "Nelli" Agbulos ’17, who discovered Pace at the last minute while applying to colleges. Now the anti-trafficking activist and social media savvy student is combining all her passions to make the world a better place, one connection at a time.

Agbulos remembers the defining moment that inspired her to take on politics at Pace before she even arrived on campus. "I almost applied as an art major, but then I changed my mind because I had this encounter with a homeless man, which kind of changed my perspective on everything," she says. "Back home in Vancouver, I was thinking more about the system and how the government helps the homeless people. I had this epiphany and then I changed my application and I rewrote my application essay."

Since then, her political focus has shifted toward ending human trafficking, with a strong emphasis on using social media and people power in the non-profit sector to make it happen. She currently blogs for The Anti-Trafficking Independence Project, which she co-founded with accounting student Eli Alexander to document their journey of creating an anti-trafficking non-profit organization. On campus, the Pforzheimer Honors College student has been involved in organizations like Generation Citizen at Pace as outreach director, The Honors Herald as editor-in-chief, and more, including the Pace NYC Model United Nations Team.

Recently, Agbulos had a chance to participate in what she calls "a pinch me moment" by representing Oxfam International at the 2014 National Model United Nations Conference in New York City, where she won an Outstanding Position Paper Award. As a career goal, Agbulos hopes to one day work for the UN in some capacity and says her experience at the conference affirmed her desire to pursue the non-profit sector.

"Being in the place where future policy is made and having global leaders come together and discuss the world’s state; being with other students who are just as passionate about these issues we’ve been talking about for the whole conference, besides being eye-opening, was also a wake-me-up moment," she says. "It was a reminder that that’s how changing the world really starts—getting people together."

And getting people together is what Agbulos is all about. She’s been using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram avidly since their creation to share stories and narratives that unite people from all over. She even helps bridge the gap between companies and their clients by managing social media accounts for Smitten Creative Services, a PR/media company she co-founded with fellow Pace student Bianca Marie Carpio to assist organizations with everything from event planning to press release writing. "I just like seeing people connected, seeing stories come to life, and having people realize that, yeah, you may not know that person in-person, but online, you can still make that connection," says Agbulos.

While she may be entering a busy junior year, Agbulos looks forward to a new role she’s taken on as a journalism fellow for the Shine Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting survivors of domestic violence, poverty, and human trafficking achieve self-sufficiency through integrative action against abuse. She’s also looking forward to participating in the BA/MPA dual degree program that will allow her to graduate in 2017 with an MPA concentrated in the non-profit sector, and praises the Pace Community for inspiring and encouraging her along the way.

"I remember reading about students like Jacqueline Kelleher and Damon and Jo, and meeting them in-person and talking to them in-person. It was like a superstar moment. I call them my Pace celebrities."

Alumni Profile

Nelli
Agbulos

"Being with other students who are just as passionate about these issues…besides being eye-opening, was also a wake-me-up moment."