July 16, 2014 —
UM junior Guerdiana Thelomar is this year’s recipient of the Newman Civic Fellows Award in recognition of her dedication to finding solutions for challenges faced by local and international communities. The award is named for Frank Newman, one of the founders of Campus Compact, a national coalition of almost 1,200 college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education.
UM President Donna E. Shalala presented the award to Thelomar at a private May 1 ceremony with Dr. Robin Bachin, Assistant Provost for Civic and Community Engagement, and Andrew Wiemer, Director of the Butler Center for Service and Leadership. She was previously honored for her work at the April 22 Celebration of Involvement by the Office of Civic and Community Engagement and the Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development.
A double major in human and social development and visual journalism, Thelomar is deeply committed to social change, international development, and cultivating leadership capacity and youth empowerment. She is vice president of the Haitian student organization Planet Kreyol, a member of the Butler Center’s Student Advisory Board, an organizer of the annual Women’s Leadership Symposium, and an intern with the Wesley Foundation, the UM Methodist ministry.
Her work also extends beyond South Florida, into the broader international community. She is the founder of Generation Hope, an organization that empowers young people in Haiti and equips them with the tools, skills, and resources needed to achieve their dreams. She has made multiple trips abroad to work with young people and facilitate workshops on leadership and community building. She also participated in the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative University to further her work.
“As a passionate young woman and a dreamer, I wish to see a world where all children have the courage to dream and believe that those dreams can become a reality, despite the hardships and obstacles in their lives,” Thelomar said. “This is the change that I want to see take place, and this is what motivates the involvement that I have in my surrounding community. My goal for every single organization, committee, or project is to create a long-lasting impact that will motivate and inspire others to discover their passions and utilize them to make this world a better place.”
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