Nicole Viloria is a passionate and inspirational advocate for justice, human rights and civic engagement.
Miami, May 2, 2023 – Miami Dade College (MDC) Padrón Campus student Nicole Viloria has been named a 2023-24 Newman Civic Fellow, the highest honor for student engagement leadership. Viloria graduated this year with an associate degree in English Literature. She will join 154 student civic leaders from 38 states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico, to form the 2023 cohort.
“Being named the 2023-24 Newman Civic Fellow reaffirms that my commitment to service has made a difference. It means that my work to promote literacy and other causes I believe in, because I care and not because I want something in return, is meaningful,” Viloria said. “I am grateful for this opportunity since it will allow me to continue growing by learning from other leaders and teaching others around me.”
Viloria emigrated to the U.S. from Venezuela in 2017. At MDC, she built an extensive and admirable track record of engagement and civic leadership. She was president of the Gamma Eta English Honor Society; co-editor-in-chief of the award-winning Urbana Literary & Arts magazine and former co-vice president of Hermione’s Army, a social justice club that raised awareness about human rights violations. She also volunteered with various organizations dedicated to women’s health, human rights, homelessness, food distribution, LGBTQ+, community clean-ups and more.
She considers her work on behalf of ENGin to be one of her most significant contributions. The nonprofit pairs Ukrainian youth with English speakers for free online conversation practice and cross-cultural connection. In the fall of 2021, what started as the tutoring and mentoring of a 15-year-old Ukrainian student eventually turned into an ambassadorship through which she has recruited other MDC student volunteers, collected and sent letters to promote ENGin with Ukrainian churches in the U.S. and raised funds for the organization. In addition, she has been their Volunteer Training Lead helping prepare others for their role as tutors and mentors.
Viloria, a graduate of MDC’s Dual Language program, also led the College’s Interactive Bilingual Reading Program. She also oversaw tutoring, civic engagement and fundraising to support children in Chacraseca, Nicaragua, to learn English via video chat. She plans to continue her education at Amherst College and aspires to become a writer and tell stories about LGBTQ+ Latino protagonists.
The Newman Civic Fellowship is a year-long program from Campus Compact, a Boston-based nonprofit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education. Students selected to stand out for their commitment to creating positive change in communities locally and worldwide.
The fellowship provides various learning and networking opportunities that emphasize personal, professional, and civic growth and the skills and connections they need to create large-scale positive change. To learn more, visit www.compact.org/newman-civic-fellowship.
Campus Compact is a national coalition of colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. Campus Compact supports institutions in fulfilling their public purposes by deepening their ability to improve community life and educate students about civic and social responsibility. As the largest national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, we provide professional development to administrators and faculty to enable them to engage effectively, facilitate national partnerships connecting campuses with critical issues in their local communities, build pilot programs to test and refine promising models in engaged teaching and scholarship, celebrate and cultivate student civic leadership, and convene higher education institutions and partners beyond higher education to share knowledge and develop collective capacity. Visit www.compact.org.