Students

How One Student's Fight for Scholarships and Immigration Rights Made Her a Community Touchstone

February 15, 2016

Produced by Julia Schmalz

Bernarda Elizabet (Eli) Garcia, a junior at the University of Central Florida, balances coursework and political activism. Recently Ms. Garcia, an undocumented student, was awarded the Mario Savio Lecture Fund’s Young Activist Award for her work fighting for immigrant rights. The once-shy young woman, working at the Hope CommUnity Center, in Apopka, Fla., has successfully advocated for scholarships for undocumented students. Twenty such awards are now available at Seminole State College of Florida. Her goal is to earn a bachelor's degree in social work in 2017 and to continue to work with her community on improving the quality of life through immigration reform and education.

Julia Schmalz is a multimedia producer. She tells stories with photos, audio, and video. Follow her on Twitter @jschmalz09, or email her at julia.schmalz@chronicle.com