Krystal Lanier, a second year student at Miami Dade College, is a global citizen who has excelled academically and as a civic leader. Her work has included serving as a Campus Election Engagement Fellow last fall and helping more than 1000 students register to vote, helping organize and lead a major rally on National Voter Registration Day, and creating multiple events to help inform her peers about the importance of political involvement; serving as Student Government Association public relations director; co-founding a student organization dedicated to service (Student Leaders in Civic Engagement - SLICE); serving as a Millennium Campus Network Fellow; volunteering as the political and civic coordinator for MDC's Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy; taking on leadership roles in many student organizations (including Phi Theta Kappa and the Political Science Club); earning the President's Volunteer Service Award; and much more. In all of her endeavors, she has worked collaboratively to create social change, and her service has focused on addressing inequality and political polarization in our nation.
I always had a drive to be a part of something significant to my community. Each step of my journey has been an opportunity to give more to those around me while developing my capacity to lead. I have been motivated to grow in order to be an effective leader because I believe in the potential of every person to contribute. My experiences in high school through JROTC were transformative, immersing me in meaningful community service and peer development, through dedication, discipline, and problem solving. I learned how much connection and community mean to me and how to empathize with others. I draw on this experience in encouraging my peers to be passionate agents of change. I had the honor to host MDC's Vote National Voter Registration Day rally. In looking across the stage at the crowd of students I felt the significance of our right to vote, and saw in front of my own eyes what it looks like when a community unites. Seeing the engagement and connectivity, I knew my purpose is to amplify the voice of my community and provide opportunities for change and involvement. That is the power of a democratic, vibrant community and that is what I will continue to work for.