Maria Escobar is a Latinx first-generation Ph.D. student from northwest Arkansas. She completed her B.A. in Sociology and B.S. in Psychology from Saint Vincent College in 2017, and in 2019, she completed her M.A. in Sociology from UC Merced. Her M.A. thesis examined how race/ethnicity, place, and legal status interact with one another to shape the sense of belonging/exclusion of Hispanic young adults in the U.S. South. Building on this work, her dissertation will examine how Hispanic and Marshallese young adults in the Southern U.S. experience and determine safe and unsafe spaces.