#MyPathToSeniorWalk: Amelia Southern Uribe

Amelia Southern Uribe
Photo by Whit Pruitt

Amelia Southern Uribe

Amelia Southern Uribe came to the University of Arkansas as an unsure freshman but has since bloomed into an inspired leader. 

“I struggled to find my place for a long time,” Uribe said. “Being able to be yourself unapologetically is what made me a better person and made me find my place.”

Uribe moved to Fayetteville from Miami and graduated from Fayetteville High School. Coming from a Colombian-American family, they said that seeing other students who were also Hispanic or Latine had a lot of influence on their decision to attend the U of A. 

“I think having that access to education and teachers who believed in me for the first time at a university level solidified my decision to come here,” Uribe said. 

Since then, Uribe has grown into a campus leader dedicated to environmental awareness and has become more confident in the process. Their passion for the environment inspired them to found Zero Hour Arkansas, a chapter of a national non-profit called This is Zero Hour, a youth-led movement creating entry points, training and resources for new young activists and organizers. 

Uribe is majoring in broadcast journalism and political science with a minor in sustainability in the Honors College and the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. They believe this combination provides not only academic resources, but also the opportunities to make the transformations they want to see around environmental change.

This year, Uribe serves on the national organizing team for This is Zero Hour and is in charge of the Southern region of the U.S., which includes four chapters in Arkansas: college chapters at the U of A and Hendrix College, and local chapters in Little Rock and Bentonville. 

“I first got involved when I was 16,” Uribe said. “I saw an ad saying, ‘This is your hour,’ and I was just so hyped to see something like that.”

Uribe attended a climate justice summit after seeing that first ad and began learning more about the organization’s founder, Jamie Margolin, who is also Colombian-American. 

“This was the first time I’d ever seen someone my age who was passionate about a lot of things that I was passionate about,” Uribe said. “After the summit, I decided that Arkansas needed something just like that. We need to have those resources;we need to spread that education and awareness. So, that’s when I founded the chapter in 2019.”

Uribe says one of the organization’s most exciting projects is its new magazine, ROOTS, which uses art as a form of activism and gives people the opportunity to explore their passion further. The magazine will showcase collages created through the U of A’s Collage for the Climate program, which was named the 2023 Best Sustainable Program by the National Association for Campus Activities.

Uribe’s work on the magazine and how the U of A has become home is included in the university’s #MyPathToSeniorWalk video feature.

“For the first time ever in my life, I was able to be as open as I could be about all of my identities, and being able to do that on a large scale and in Arkansas was just amazing,” they say in the episode. “It’s just home. It’s amazing.”

Uribe was selected as the Student Leader of the Month for December 2022 and, in spring 2023, was chosen to be part of the Clinton Global Initiative for their work with Zero Hour Arkansas and ROOTS

For more student success stories like Amelia’s, check out our previous #MyPathToSeniorWalk features: Angel WilliamsErick Soto,  Rachell Sanchez-SmithGary JacksonIsmael Salgado and others at our #MyPathToSeniorWalk website. If you have a story that you’d like told or know someone who has an inspiring story, please check out the nomination form

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the few U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.

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