Who is OME

- October '16

Alfredo Valdivia - Chemistry

Public Service

His nominator writes:

After learning about the international community’s lack of awareness of the daily human rights abuses that exist in Cuba, Alfredo and his friends saw the possibility to both educate the community and help those who are fighting for their rights. He founded a student group, Connect Cuba at MIT, after a project of the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba (FHRC) that focuses on eliminating censorship and expanding internet access on the island. His group gave talks on campus to dismiss misconceptions about Cuba’s healthcare system and human rights record, generated a campus presence, and spoke about the Cuban situation at Boston College. Alfredo also arranged tech drives to collect electronics, from which hundreds of pounds of computer equipment were sent and 20 fully functional computers built by his group. His group coordinated with the FHRC to ship the technology, along with over a thousand pounds of donated medical supplies, into the hands of Cuban dissidents, and is working to make sure it ends up in the hands of the poorest hospitals on the island. In the end, there is still much work to be done, but Alfredo is happy knowing that his group’s work has helped to unite the Cuban-American community at MIT, educated many about the reality of the Cuban situation, and provided some support to those with the courage to fight for their rights.