Ada Garcia-Poll is deeply committed to civic engagement and its impact on college students and community members, and has been a student leader to address a number of specific community issues including urban poverty and homelessness. Ada has been an instrumental leader in the Buffalo State Alternative Break program, engaging other students in meaningful community service activities as a trip leader and member of the Alternative Break student leadership team. As a trip leader, she organized and led a community service trip to Detroit, Michigan where participants explored some of the root causes of poverty in Detroit, and worked with community organizations working to address those issues through the construction of housing and the management of community gardens in urban communities. She has also served as a Say Yes tutor, has volunteered over 100 hours with the XCEL afterschool program in Buffalo, and is now working in the Buffalo State Volunteer and Service-Learning Center as a student staff member to plan and implement community service activities for other Buffalo State students.
I came from Cuba to the U.S. and started in suburban school when I was 10 years old. The experience was extremely shocking. American culture is very different, especially in the suburbs. The school was full of great resources, and I assumed every school in the U.S. was like that.
I got involved in the community during high school, and when I graduated, my goal was to come to college and make an impact on the lives of those who needed me the most. Joining the Buffalo State community was one of the best decisions I made. My freshman year, I started my journey by joining Alternative Break. I have since become an AB leader, and have become more involved in Buffalo through service-learning classes. I have also done Alternative Break trips to make an impact in other communities around the country.
As a ten year old I had no idea what America was like outside of the suburbs, and I am now very happy with who I am and the way I have grown. I have developed my leadership and communication skills by interacting with community partners and making the community a better place.