Maydee Martinez is a 2nd year student at Miami Dade College (MDC). She is part of MDC's Honor's College, has a 3.85 GPA and plans to earn degree in political science and sociology. Her track record of community engagement and civic leadership while at MDC is nothing short of phenomenal. Maydee feels a personal responsibility to motivate her peers to care about issues in the world. As she states, she has learned that "power is not given, it is taken" and she works tirelessly to educate and inspire her peers to become informed and involved. From day one at MDC Maydee has been a champion for student voter engagement and political participation. Her outstanding track record of service and civic engagement is impressive and inspirational. As Maydee says "I care about making others care." I could not be more proud of Maydee Martinez. She represents the best of the best of the new generation of up and coming civic leaders that our nation so desperately needs.
I have always gravitated towards civic engagement. Ever since 7th grade in my Civics class, I became fascinated by the political process, and what our duties are as citizens. In my family's native Cuba, citizens cannot vote for their leaders or voice their opinions without fear of prosecution. My family has always instilled the importance of voting and participating in the democratic process. Civic engagement is one of my passions. My mantra is "I care about making others care." I feel a personal responsibility to motivate my peers to care about the things going on around them. As I developed my community organization, Engage Miami, that narrative has changed slightly. Today, I reinforce the notion that "Power is not given, it's taken." I can't force someone to care about things, but I can show them the importance of doing so, and give them the tools necessary to act and make a difference. When interacting with my peers I've never really focused on what I've done. Instead, I ask them "what do YOU want to change" and I try and give them the steps, tools, and confidence needed to "be the change they want to see in the world."