Andy Garcia, a first year graduate student at the University of Florida, is a student advocate engaged in educating the public on humanitarian issues. He participated in pro-bono legal assistance service, fundraising for nonprofits, and ultimately co-founding his own nonprofit to provide legal assistance to a private cooperative in Cuba. He is a passionate servant-leader who demonstrates that change can start with one person, while making monumental impacts. Andy is an exceptionally passionate leader who is equipped to make significant contributions both locally and internationally. He is an inspiration to his peers and is an excellent candidate for this award.
I am a former Machen Opportunity Scholar and current law student at Levin committed to utilize my education to help grow my humanitarian nonprofit and to provide underrepresented populations in the US with access to the legal system. This commitment led me to work for Torres Law PA, a Gainesville law firm helping undocumented immigrants and the Latin community at large with their legal issues. I have also done pro bono work through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance offering free tax filing services to those in the community who cannot afford to pay for it. In addition, I volunteered weekly for the ARC of North Florida helping in building projects that benefit people with mental disabilities. My history of civic commitment dates back to my undergrad years when I became an ambassador for Multicultural and Diversity Affairs and the LGBTQ division. I also advocated for sensitive immigration reform while interning for a Washington Think Tank. Shortly thereafter, I co-founded a 501c3 nonprofit, Inspire Cuba, focused on building a new twenty first century Cuban American dynamic by providing for collaborative and humanitarian projects in Cuba. Since then we have sent medicine, school supplies, and technological equipment to Cuba. This year we became the recipients of Davis Projects for Peace and the Christopher Reynolds Foundation grant award that will allow us to implement a complex project on the ground in the island to help grow a private business by increasing output production, improve environmental conditions, rehabilitate soil for domestic food production and begin eliminating an invasive weed from Cuba's country lands.