Miami Dade College Homepage > MDC in the News

Miami Dade College and Harvard University Collaboration Continues to Develop Young Hispanic Leaders


Miami, July 9, 2012 - Just back from an intensive week at Harvard University are five stellar Miami Dade College (MDC) students who were selected to participate in the Latino Leadership Initiative (LLI) at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership. The objective of the program is to develop young Latino Leaders across the state and the nation.

LLI is a weeklong program that prepares rising college students for the opportunities and challenges they will face in the coming decades. The curriculum includes classes on public narrative, community organizing, negotiation, moral leadership, innovation, arts and activism, and public speaking. LLI participants also have opportunities to build relationships with respected Latino mentors from the government, nonprofit, and business sectors.

This is the second year that MDC students participate in the prestigious LLI. They were among 41 students nationwide chosen from a highly selective application process. The students are expected to develop a personal leadership project in Miami that they will execute with Harvard’s help.

The MDC students who participated this summer are as follows:

1)    Paula Vieira: GPA 3.78                  Major: International Relations

Paula is a member of the PTK Honor Society who has served at the deputy head delegate of MDC’s Model United Nations and completed many community service projects. Among these, she has participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and All Nighter for Haiti. She has also served as historian for the Future Leaders of America.


2)    Amalia Mariaca: GPA 3.94            Major: International Relations

Amalia is a member of the PTK, PBL and Alpha Mu Gamma honor societies. She has served as an intern for U.S. Senator Bill Nelson and at Bank of America. She is also active in community service, having worked on the Casimiro Foundation’s toy drive, All Nighter for Haiti and the MDC sexual awareness campaign.


3)    Dayron Leon: GPA 4.0                  Major: Biology

Dayron has served as senator in MDC’s Student Government Association and vice president of Alpha Mu Gamma. He is also a member of PTK Honor Society and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. He is currently a student researcher at an oncology research laboratory at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. 


4)    Yanina Reyes: GPA 4.0                Major: Mathematics Education

Yanina has served as vice president of the mathematics club at the InterAmerican Campus and is a member of the PTK and Alpha Mu Gamma honor societies. She has also devoted many hours to tutoring fellow college students at the math lab – from simple arithmetic to more complicated calculus work.


5)    Ana Maria Quevedo: GPA 4.0       Major: Electronics Engineering Technology

Ana Maria received her Associate in Science in electrical engineering in 1986. In 2010, she decided to return to school to earn her Bachelor’s. Armed with the knowledge and experience she has obtained throughout her career, she has used her leadership skills to lead class projects, participate in a research symposium in Puerto Rico and complete a research internship at the University of California.


For more information, please contact Joshua B. Young, director at MDC’s Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy, at 305-237-7477. 

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
ethnicity, pregnancy, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or genetic information.
Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.