Madeline Garcia, Research Assistant & Faith-Based NGO Advisor
Ms. Garcia’s background in Sociology and Education, as well as her experience with youth ministry made her the ideal research assistant for two of our international action research projects. From 2014 to 2015, she was a Field Research Assistant for the Guatemala Orphans project with Proyecto: Mi Hogar, Inc in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Currently, Ms. Garcia is working as Dr. Caban-Vazquez’s Documentary Research Assistant as the team filmed in Puerto Rico and in New York City.
The lead researcher Dr. Caban-Vazquez is grateful for Madeline’s giving heart as she served along side her conducting a program evaluation for the faith-based NGO Proyecto: Mi Hogar, Inc. Her Christian-based and secular experiences working with children make her an asset to the research team. Madeline’s love for youth began as a Sunday School teacher. Her passion for touching young lives transformed as she served as a first grade teacher in a Christian school in Westchester County, New York. As an educator, Ms. Garcia values the importance of educating the spiritual needs of her students, as well as encourage children to broaden their artistic experiences. Her mission work led her to serve both as a teacher and then a Coordinator for the Missionettes Girls Ministry. As a visionary spirit, she values the need for children to have innovative platforms to praise and worship. She found great joy in serving as a learning facilitator for Kids Creative which is an award winning non-profit organization that offers art-based peace education programs. In this aforementioned ministry work, Madeline was able to help youth fine-tune their young ability to worship through dance, song writing, singing, drama and pantomime. This ministry mission extended into work with Women Dance and Praise Ministry work. As Madeline worked with the older youth, she was fascinated to work with this national girl’s ministry initiative that was established by the Assemblies of God Christian organization.
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~HUMAN RIGHTS COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY INTERNS~
INTERN: Carlamarie Rodriguez Ortiz
Columbia College of Columbia University, Class of 2017
Major: Political Science and Human Rights
From: Queens, NY
Scholarship: Hispanic Achievement Award 2009, Hispanic Heritage Youth Award 2013, and Questbridge Scholar 2013
Carlamarie Rodriguez Ortiz, born in Manhattan, NY, is the daughter of a single mother whose entire life has always centered upon breaking barriers. At age five, her courage and persistence allowed her to defeat a speech deficiency and her outstanding tenacity and drive towards achieving a costly vision resulted in rapidly increasing academic success throughout her earlier years. As a witness through her most important role-model, her mother, to how mentorship and having a strong supportive can provide the building blocks to a better future, Carlamarie is more than well aware of how impactful a selfless friend can be in conquering one’s wildest dreams.
Carlamarie has always had an unquenchable desire to provide voices to the speechless, whether through economic, psychological, economical, or emotional support. Throughout high school she was a mentor in both her church and community and dealt with various heartbreaking cases in which such promising youth allowed the chains of status quo to define their lives. She was a witness to their struggle to break free of the cycles of oppression governing their lives, such as those of poverty and substance abuse. As a trained counselor, Carlamarie received the tools to reach the deepest bosoms of the heart in order to change mental states and give the victims of society the energy and strength to keep forward that they so desperately needed and yearned for. Now studying Political Science and Human Rights at Columbia University, Carlamarie continues to work in areas of civic action. In summer 2013, she was a field organizer for Reshma Saujani’s Public Advocate Campaign, specifically focusing on making connections with various high schools and colleges in New York City to rally support for Saujani’s cause. Furthermore, through her experiences of collecting petitions, door to door canvassing and making phone calls, Carlamarie is well aware of what the New York City population, and particularity the young population, needs to better their city. At Columbia, she is a successful student caller who has raised over $20,000 to support Columbia University. As a student caller, she is highly trained in Columbia’s financial aid policies as well as other logistics that result in supreme knowledge of Columbia University admissions. Furthermore, she is a leader at Columbia Faith and Action, one of the Christian groups on Columbia’s campus. To break educationally barriers, she is a co-founder and co-president of RealityStep, a not-for-profit organization seeking to help underperforming & underprivileged students pursue higher education and academic success by providing high-quality college counseling.
Her efforts to be an impetus for social change has resulted in the acquisition of various awards, including the Hispanic Achievement Award in 2009 and the Hispanic Heritage Youth Award in Healthcare in 2013.
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