Senior Nelcy Garcia received the Undergraduate Student of the Year Award from the New York State Social Work Education Association (NYSSWEA) in October 2018. The award is given in recognition of a student’s passion for social justice and dedication to academic achievement, college and departmental leadership, and service to diverse populations.
Nelcy said there are a number of factors that have contributed to her passion for social justice. “Being an immigrant, having strong family role models, and my personal experiences of injustice, have all led to my acquiring a sense of responsibility and understanding that positive community involvement is my moral obligation,” she said.
Nelcy was recognized for her organization of a peaceful protest to highlight discriminatory hiring practices against people with disabilities. She is also a member of the Rockland Immigration Coalition and interns at the office of New York State Assemblymember Ellen Jaffee, translating for constituents and working on projects related to children and families.