Nicolette Duong, a third year student at the University of Florida, is passionate about addressing and solving issues related to agriculture and livestock, adequate nutrition and education, and peace building and conflict resolution. Her passion for creating positive, sustainable change is demonstrated in several of her leadership activities, including her work in Picol, Peru in 2016, to help enhance economic and infrastructure stability. Nicolette believes in furthering local community changes through her work, but also understands the possible impacts on a larger scale. Nicolette and her colleague implemented solutions in different communities across America. In 2017, she and a colleague created a safety and educational program that allowed them to work with several communities across the country including the Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County, University of Florida, University of Miami, University of California - Los Angeles, and Santa Fe Ruth Baseball League. Nicolette embodies the spirit of leadership and service and we are proud to have her represent the Gator Nation.
The Newman Civic Fellows will allow me the opportunity to refine value in local communities, challenge my mindset with social change strategies, and address future problems. Social change strategies that I have employed thus far in my undergraduate career have revolved around three things: cultivating agriculture/livestock, designing nutrition programs, and outlining community safety/peace.
Among many other projects, last year I worked with a rural community of Picol, Peru to enhance economic and infrastructure stability. In 2017, a colleague and I created a two-part safety and educational program allowing us to work with the Boys and Girls of Alachua County, University of Miami, University of Florida, University of California - Los Angeles, and the Santa Fe Ruth Baseball League. Both opportunities have allowed me to write grants, work with experts in the field, and apply academic knowledge into social change. More importantly, both opportunities showed me the power of working with the local community members to solve social issues in that community. I believe our current programs will start locally by focusing on safety, nutrition, and unity and therefore address global problems.