My name is Amanda Batista-Brgulja. I am 28 years old and was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to Yvette and Eliezer Batista Jr. I graduated from Central Dauphin East High School and began my post-secondary education at HACC Harrisburg Campus. During my enrollment at HACC, I became the President for the Mosaico Latino Club where our organization participated in many community events. I also became a member of the Student Government Association and Chair of the Community Involvement Committee. I graduated from HACC in 2010. I was then accepted to further my education at the Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg Campus. I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Science for Criminal Justice in 2012, in addition to also receiving two minors, one in Sociology and the other in Women Studies. While attending Penn State Harrisburg, I became a member of the Latino Student Union. Currently, I am on the way to completing my Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
Once I started my journey to attend college, I became a mother too. Therefore, I faced different obstacles than most of my colleagues. At times, juggling school, being a mother, working, and maintaining a household was challenging. However, I was focused more than ever to succeed because I wanted my child to know that anything is possible. I was raised in a household that lived paycheck to paycheck and I began working at the age of 13 just so I could help. I am the first in my family to graduate with any degree and it the values of continuing an education have been instilled into the future of my children. None of this could have been possible without the support and help from my husband, Asmir Brgulja. We now have two handsome, loving, and very busy boys, Amir (8 years old) and Amel (18 months old). I am currently employed as a Judicial Center Officer (Booking Officer) with Dauphin County.
I was introduced to EUP when I was 15 years old. The first event I attended was a Gala, which raises money for scholarships. I attended the Gala as a volunteer. I had never attended an event like this and didn’t know what to expect. This was the first time I had to buy a gown and I had no clue what utensils I had to use when we were seated! I was clueless and felt embarrassed. I volunteered by helping prepare the silent auction items like I do now and I was in the welcoming committee. I escorted guests to their tables. It was such an amazing and grand event and it opened my eyes to a whole new world. I didn’t know this is what organizations did and that there were so many out there willing to help one another. Therefore, I’M STILL HERE supporting the mission and goals of EUP because I truly believe and live by it!!! I have earned a scholarship as a volunteer of EUP and it wasn’t easy. I had to improve my grades, but I was determined. I love this organization and it has become a part of who I am and has become a part of my family! The members of EUP are absolutely amazing. They are my mentors, role models, and especially closer to me than some of my own family members. I value their suggestions and love the diversity that EUP has created in our board members, volunteers, and the community in which we serve. I strongly feel that I have been molded to be a great leader and I know I will make our organization proud. I plan to carry out the mission of EUP and believe me when I say I am very passionate in doing so. Thank you for the opportunity and I am honored to serve EUP as president.
2017 EUP President