Gabrielle Monteiro, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Gabrielle MonteiroGabrielle Monteiro, class of 2016 at UMass Dartmouth, epitomizes the ideals of active citizenship. She is a civic leader with vision, insight and a keen sense for seeing the big picture. Her passions and energy are focused around grassroots organizing, sustainability, and civic engagement; and as a political science major, she understands the role that public policy plays in addressing social issues. She has demonstrated civic leadership on campus as one of the architects of the food justice campaign, which has now evolved into the Hunger Initiative – an initiative to address hunger on campus – and the establishment of a food pantry with local students. As evidence of her ability to see the big picture she is complementing her work on hunger with the establishment of a permaculture community garden to provide rich, nutrient dense vegetables to students and a composting program to complete the food cycle. As you can see, she has already accomplished quite a bit during her time here on campus and we look forward to her leadership to inspire others to be agents of change in our community.
-Chancellor Divina Grossman, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth  

My road to civic engagement began many years ago, but it was when I entered college that I found my true path and inner calling – a path that has allowed me to utilize my strengths: grassroots organizing and active citizenship. As an active citizen, I have worked on political campaigns to address sustainable public policies; served as a lead intern with an environmental non-profit on energy efficiency; and tackled food justice issues on the UMass Dartmouth campus. The intrinsic rewards I received through my service inspired me to become an AmeriCorps member at the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement at UMass Dartmouth. My work there increased service opportunities for local youth, developed my civic leadership skills, and provided a platform for my studies as a Political Science major at UMass Dartmouth. I learned that building social capital requires effective communication, mutually beneficial collaborations, and most importantly, a vision for the common good. A vision, however, cannot come to fruition without public policies to support it. My journey allows me to make a difference in my community by influencing legislation, advocating for social causes, and developing my role as an active citizen.
-Gabrielle Monteiro, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth