By Jesus Alarcon
Yanira Garcia was the first in her family to attend college. Throughout her academic career at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Garcia developed a passion for nonprofit work.
As part of her studies as a double major in journalism and media communication and Latino-Latin American studies, Garcia completed an internship for the Midlands Latino Community Development Corporation. Today, Garcia, who works as a marketing specialist for University Communications serves on the MLCDC Board of Directors.
As an undergraduate, she was involved in many UNO organizations including the Public Relations Student Society of America, and it’s student-run firm, MaverickPR. She also dedicated her time to the Association of Latino American Students Organization and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. Garcia said she believes her heavy involvement has helped her academic profile.
After graduating from UNO in May 2014, Garcia continued to be an active volunteer for the MLCDC. Her hard work and dedication led to a board member position as first secretary of MLCDC. With this new volunteering position, Garcia says she is currently working on public relations within the nonprofit. She is responsible for organizing fundraisers and annual events and writing articles and news releases to be distributed to local media outlets.
MLCDC serves mostly uneducated immigrants who have businesses or wish to open their own business. The goal is to provide the Latino community with opportunities for economic growth and to develop a sustainable future Garcia said.
“We offer support and guidance to those who want to better themselves,” she said.
Garcia said throughout the year, the nonprofit offers various educational programs to help teach the basics of how to operate a business. The potential small-business owners are taught the basic of licensing requirements, business planning, marketing, legal issues, record keeping and taxes.
Garcia said she wanted to stress the importance of materials available to women who want to open their own business. The Women Go Forward program is another nonprofit Garcia is passionate about and it offers entrepreneurial training, individual business counseling, technology training, leadership training and financial education.
“I really believe in their mission. I continue to help this organization because what they are doing is good for the Latino community,” Garcia said. “The goal is to provide the Latino community with opportunities that will lead to economic growth and a sustainable future.”