Quran Howard is a 2nd year student at Miami Dade College who will soon graduate with his Associate in Arts Degree and transfer to Howard University. He has completed more than 4,000 hours of service during his time as a student, including serving two terms with AmeriCorpsVISTA helping low-income students secure services to help them stay in school, helping oversee the campus’ food pantry, and helping build and maintain community-campus partnerships. He wrote and secured two Sodexo Stop Hunger grants, and he has served as a moderator and a panelist on a number of MDC social justice and racial equality events. He also travelled to the Galapagos Islands on a plastic waste removal project, and he spent time refurbishing homes in New Orleans. He is committed to lifting others up by sharing his personal story and encouraging his peers by example. He is humble, kind, driven, and passionate about making the world better for others. His resilience will serve him well as he wants to make a career of working for the public good. He hopes to join the Peace Corps upon graduating with a baccalaureate degree.
When I was young many of the services that helped my family were run by volunteers. Food pantries, afterschool enrichment programs, and even free tax preparation were all essential for us growing up in poverty. Those volunteers had no idea who I was or their impact on my life, but they transformed a young child through acts of kindness. They weren't by any means my "saviors" but rather just fellow human beings who saw a need in the community and sought to do something about it. When I learned how food insecurity and food deserts affect South Florida, I had to do my part to address this issue. I felt a responsibility to myself and my community. This is why I sought grants to start a garden, why I recruited over 100 volunteers to support the MDC Food Pantry, and why I started a community project to provide farmers market produce to low-income communities. I'm proud of the work I’ve done and the lives I’ve changed, but I’m also determined to address the root causes of these public problems. I hope to advocate for my community through policy and invoke changes that will positively impact people living here.