New College of Florida student Lizabelt Avila has been named a national Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact for her public service both on campus and in the community.
Avila was born in Cuba and moved to Miami when she was 12, graduating from Southwest Miami Senior High School. In her second year at New College, she is majoring in international and area studies and philosophy.
In his nomination letter, New College President Don O’Shea noted Avila’s leadership and commitment to her fellow students, and that she “has earned the respect of her peers and faculty due to her strong work ethic, positive attitude and endearing personality.”
Avila serves on the Community Board, the college’s judicial review board, and on the student government’s Council of Academic Affairs, and is the membership director for Model United Nations. Outside of school, she has worked on political campaigns with Grassroots Campaigns and volunteered for New Acropolis, an international volunteer service organization.
Avila says New College is a good fit for people committed to public service.
“My favorite part about New College is how socially conscious my peers are toward the community and the world as a whole,” she said.
“It is a hopeful environment to grow up in, and it inspires me to get more involved. By being privileged enough to attend college, obtain a high quality education and be critical of current circumstances, public service becomes a moral responsibility.
“This award was definitely an unexpected honor as I know that there is a lot more I could do, and I wish I am able to make myself useful in the years to come.”
Avila plans study abroad next year at The Hague, taking courses in human rights law, global citizenship, and equality, before returning to New College to complete her baccalaureate thesis.
Campus Compact is a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education. This year the group chose 218 students to receive the 2016 Newman Civic Fellows Award.