Hi there! My name is Maribel Garcia and I am a current fellow in the 59th class of Coro Southern California. I graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Political Science & Philosophy and before coming to Coro I worked in the fields of university advancement, nonprofit development and community engagement. I have always been passionate about music and dance, in fact, I have 19 years of experience as a dancer and musician. My hope for the future is to connect my interest in law and my passions, including my newly acquired passion for land-use policy in Los Angeles, to work effectively in the realm of public affairs.
One of my favorite experiences of the year has been co-facilitating a fellows-led focus day on the criminal justice system. We had the opportunity to shadow a criminal attorney in court, interview a Judge, tour a LAPD station, engage with the Anti-Recidivism Coalition and interview City Attorney Mike Feuer. One of the most notable experiences of the day for me was discussing the Neighborhood Justice Program with City Attorney Feuer. This conversation led me to question what alternative methods there can be for achieving the goals of our established institutions; not solely in criminal justice but in any system. I also really appreciated our debrief of the day when we, as aspiring leaders, started to think in a problem solving framework and applied what we had learned to imagine how we would craft solutions to pressing issues. I remain amazed at our cohort’s commitment to learning about varying perspectives and staying in a spirit of inquiry, regardless of the challenges we feel to our own attitudes. This inspires me everyday to think critically of my assumptions and challenge myself and the cohort to grow as individuals.