Student Profile
Student Profile: Jeffrey Juarez-Araniva


Los Angeles CA

Undergraduate Work

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 2006. (Transferred to UCLA after attending Santa Monica Community College and Los Angeles City College, 2001-2004)

Degree Candidate

Masters in City Planning

Interest Area

Housing, Community and Economic Development

Thesis Topic

The role of informal outdoor public markets in helping to revitalize and improve marginalized or low-income communities

Career Ambition

My goal is to work in disadvantaged communities to help create or implement plans that stimulate the local economy and bring jobs as well as key social services which may improve the overall quality of life for residents.

Why MIT?

There are two main reasons why I decided to attend MIT for my graduate studies. The main reason why I came to MIT (and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning) is for the challenge. I want to develop the knowledge and fundamental skills that will give me the best chance of succeeding not only in my professional career, but also in relationships that I forge with community members, government representatives, institutions and colleagues. MIT offers me a vast amount of resources and opportunities to improve in these areas and I believe I can become a better leader by accepting the challenge to try my best and exposing myself to different ideas. The second reason why I came here (and which is more personal) is because I want to take a break, and get away from my home, in order to experience life outside of Los Angeles. The chance to come to a world-renowned institution like MIT, and to Cambridge, is a privilege that not many people get in their lifetime (yet dream of one day doing). I take pride in knowing that I represent not only my family, but also my friends, my community of South Central LA. I expect to make a positive difference for each of these people in the near future, and I believe that the way to do this starts by always giving it my all in the classroom and around MIT.


“A civilization is to be judged by its treatment of minorities.” – Mohandas K. Gandhi