Daniela Alvarez, a sophomore at Miami Dade College (MDC), is an exemplary student civic leader and changemaker. As is true for many, Daniela's road was not mapped out for her. Having emigrated from Cuba as a child, she relentlessly endeavored to chart her path here in Miami. Fueled by her drive to build a more inclusive, engaged society, she has created spaces for students to learn, research, act, discuss, listen, and question in order to foster a more empowered, aware, and active community. In her short two years with MDC, she has served as an Andrew Goodman Foundation Democracy Fellow, founded MDC's Integrated Law and Ethics Society, served as a leader for the Model United Nations and Political Science Clubs, as well as a Student Government Senator, and she has taught civic engagement and sustainable development through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Program, among other accomplishments. In all of her roles, her focus was addressing the root causes of civic disengagement through education and empowerment.
Growing up in Miami, a cultural hub of immigrant communities, I've always felt deep down in my gut that I'm meant to be the voice that stands up to unfair, exclusive and prejudiced policies-a voice that seeks innovative approaches to bridge the gap between our local and global communities.
While at Miami Dade College I've engaged in a multitude of cocurricular endeavors guided by my commitment to serve as a proponent of human and immigrant rights and inclusive societies. As a coordinator for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Program (UNSDG) I developed a curriculum to teach the UNSDGs through community-based research. These 8-week sessions fostered relationships between students and their communities and elevated the discussion on the UNSDGs. This project resulted in the creation of a local resolution focused on addressing solutions for Goal 1: No Poverty; Goal 4: Quality Education; and Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.
I will continue to work for a South Florida where students across college campuses are equipped, empowered and engaged in realizing their political power - a South Florida where students utilize their resources, skills and communities to create a more civically engaged environment.