In the Kennett Spotlight
by AJ Miguel
If you’ve had your eye on the movers and shakers of Kennett Square in the last few years, the name Mayra Zavala should be familiar. A resident of the Borough since she moved here at a young age with her parents and two older sisters, Mayra is a vibrant activist in our community, championing inclusivity and equal representation for a town in which about 50 percent of residents are Hispanic.
From the age of six, Mayra has served as a bridge between cultures. Whether translating for her Spanish-speaking parents to help them navigate the workplace or doctors’ offices, or speaking up to save important programs like Walk in Knowledge that benefit minority students in the Kennett Consolidated School District, Mayra is resilient in the face of adversity and works to find common ground. She is a firm believer that innovative programs like The Garage Youth Center need to be preserved, but that there is still room to grow to reach all marginalized members of the community.
Running parallel to her commitment to improve her community is Mayra’s commitment to her career and personal development. She graduated from Penn State University in 2016 with a degree in political science and international studies and a minor in Spanish. Following time as a Field Organizer for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, in which she and her team registered 300 new local voters, she started working as a paralegal with Sweet and Paciorek, LLC, handling immigration cases. Earlier this year, she joined Chatham Financial as a Debt Management Consultant. Although Mayra admits she doesn’t know exactly where she sees herself in ten years, she continues to seek out opportunities to build a strong foundation in public policy and finance.
Mayra is also no stranger to Kennett Square politics. She serves on the Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs in the Borough, and she introduced and lobbied for the historic Anti-discrimination Ordinance – ensuring that the measure would be impactful and more than just a headline – which the Council unanimously passed in 2017. But more work remains, such as setting up the Human Relations Commission the Ordinance establishes, and Mayra recently announced her candidacy for Borough Council. While she has had mentors and friends encourage her along the way, Mayra is a strong, independent voice working to make Kennett Square a true and unified reflection of the diverse communities that live here.