Melissa Garcia-Velez, Herbert H. Lehman College, City University of New York
Melissa Garcia-Velez, a junior at Lehman College, City University of New York, is a student human rights activist who incessantly advocates for undocumented youth. Working closely with the New York State Youth Leadership Council, she has brought the DREAM TEAM onto campus to raise support for the DREAM Act and strives endlessly to create a safe space for people to express their individualism. She turned her struggles into determination, empowering and inspiring students to continuously defend their liberties. Melissa is a valued leader on campus and extends her civic responsibility throughout the community and the world. As part of the President’s Service Corps at Lehman, she works with her peers to engage students in volunteerism with the efforts to raise school spirit. Being a part of Lehman L.I.F.E., an alternative break program, she devotes her spring and summer breaks to travel away from home to complete educational community service projects. Melissa’s capacity to motivate enthusiasm and her genuine commitment to uphold her global citizenship truly inspires higher.