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Student Spotlight: Hector Garcia

Hector’s downtime is active. He spends much of his time playing with his three boys, a 7 year-old and 4 year-old twins. His interest in reading non-fiction has slowly morphed into a love of comic books shared with his sons. While his boys are growing up in lovely Ann Arbor, Hector recalls a growing up in a beach town next to the El Yunque rainforest in Puerto Rico, the only rainforest in the U.S. “I spent my childhood surfing,” he says.

Student Spotlight: Shanta Robinson

Approached in her local grocery store regarding the curious collection of items in her shopping cart, Shanta explained to a clerk that she was buying supplies for her high school social studies class. She taught at the local high school, one of the most challenging schools in Charlotte, North Carolina and she lived and worked in the same community. She was gratified to find “I was lifted up by the community. There was so much support for the work I was doing with kids there. Even now, I want to help local organizations meet students where they are.”

Student Spotlight: Alana LeBron

Alana is inspired to do work that engages community members and leaders in efforts to reduce racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic health inequities. She says that Michigan is known for this engaging work, saying, “I came to here because I wanted to work with outstanding faculty who are leaders in the field of community-based participatory research. While there aren’t many scholars in this field of study who focus specifically on the Latino community, the culture at Michigan is thoughtful about the issue and has resources that can open doors to work in partnership with leaders in the Latino community.”