Each year, Equal Voice News features “America’s Next Leaders”, a series that profiles the recipients of the Marguerite Casey Foundation’s Sargent Shriver Youth Warriors Against Poverty Leadership Award. The award honors young people who, in the spirit of Sargent Shriver, have demonstrated a deep commitment to social justice and have transformed that commitment into effective action across an array of issues.The Marguerite Casey Foundation supports and promotes America’s Next Leaders in order to recognize their resolve and courage and to help them build a network that will foster their individual and collective work moving forward.
Equal Voice News is an online newspaper published by the Marguerite Casey Foundation that covers the intersection of policy and poverty, with a focus on the lives of families living at that intersection.
The Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network, which works with community organizations in South Texas, nominated Nahiely Garcia, who is featured here, for the award. Here is a summary of her community contributions:
Nahiely is a youth volunteer with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, and the founder of the anti-crime campaign Strides for Fany. After the murder of her sister, Stephanie “Fany” Gonzalez, Nahiely launched a campaign to reduce criminal activity in her neighborhood of Colonia San Cristobal.
She helped to implement a neighborhood watch program, created an annual neighborhood beautification project, “Pintado Sonrisas/Painting Smiles,” and helped organize house meetings. She is also in her third year of college, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, with a minor in Mexican-American Studies, from the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley.