Cesar Reyes has quickly distinguished himself as a leader in service learning and civic engagement. A first-generation college student and son of Mexican immigrants, Cesar has made the most of every opportunity to develop as an educated and principled leader, to honor what others have done for him by giving back to the community, and to influence his peers to do the same. After talking with the Director of the HALOS non-profit that supports families in "kinship care" (foster care by relatives), Cesar became passionate about the issue, mobilized his entire company to learn more about foster care from community experts, and engaged them in "adopting" the HALOS non-profit. Under his leadership his company has built this new partnership, executed supply drives, and invited the HALOS families to campus events. It is the model we hope other students will emulate. Because of his commitment to social change and impact as an emerging leader, Cesar was selected to be part of a two year model program in collaboration with our state senator to engage diverse high school youth in making their communities better. He is highly deserving of the Newman Civic Fellow Award.
My parents are my greatest supporters and have given me the opportunity to be successful in my education and future endeavors. For this I am very grateful. This year I focused my appreciation to a cause where I hoped I could make a difference- foster care and kinship care. Under my leadership our company invited families from a kinship care organization that we volunteer with, including a cheerful nine-year-old being raised by his grandparents, to one of our Citadel football games. He was so full of energy and grateful to cheer on a college team he had never watched before. His smile was so contagious, I could not help but be as happy and full of laughter as he was. I want to build opportunities and relationships with children that lack support systems and make a difference in their lives. I believe that the key to a better world is leading the next generation and inspiring them to be better than myself. That is what I strive to do as a leader in my community for as long as God permits me to.