Daria Leon: president, scholar and more

Raymiya Thicklin, Staff Writer

  Hillsborough Community College strives to give its students the best experience while completing their academic years. HCC gives students the opportunity to network through campus wide events. There are also many ways that students can earn extra money through scholarships, fundraising and student contest.

  How are these events possible? Who controls the money? Who determines event dates? HCC’s Student Government Association handles everything! Many students volunteer their time to be a part of SGA to make student life better at HCC.

  One of Hillsborough Community College’s very own students, Daria Leon, has gone above and beyond to make sure that students are treated fairly and enjoy their time at HCC.

  Daria Leon is a former HCC SGA president of the Brandon Campus and is now president of The Florida College System Student Government Association. The FCSAA is the state SGA for the Florida College System, which includes state and community colleges. As FCSAA president, Leon represents nearly 1 million students in the state of Florida.

  Leon’s positive mindset earned her position as president. Whenever she sees a problem she does her best to contribute into solving it or improving it. “My philosophy is if I see a problem, do an action that can change the problem. With that, I’m a pretty passionate person so anything I invest my time in I give my all.”

  Leon’s interest in politics had stricken when she was a sophomore in high school. She learned about the Page Program. The Page Program gives high school students the opportunity to be a part of a paid internship with a legislator.  “Once I heard this was paid, I told my mom and I was able to sign up for that session. Within that week I was learning about out state Legislature system and it sparked an interest.”

  Working in various leadership positions, Leon was able to meet a lot of individuals with different backgrounds.  “I talk to a lot of students from different places, different ages and different socioeconomic status with different perspective on life. We don’t think the same way because we don’t experience life the same way.” Leon says.

  Once Leon started her academic career at HCC, she did not hesitate to get involve in student politics. During her first semester she ran for a position in the Senate. “It wasn’t until I applied this concept to my life and leadership style, I knew what being a true leader was,”

  She worked hard as a senator and by her second semester she was voted on the Executive Board as the Treasurer. As Treasurer, Leon’s job was to complete the Financial Report for all expenditures through the academic year. She also was responsible for all requisitions, reports of financial balances, and Annual Financial Reports.

  Not many students have had the responsibilities that Leon had possessed during her first year of college. Coming up on her second year at HCC she ran for Student Government President and won. As President Leon was oversaw a 4-million-dollar Student Activity Budget and facilitated the direct spending.

  She administered all campus club budgets for the avocation for all students, proliferate relations between HCC and the community and conduct all SGA meetings with the use of Robert’s Rules of Parliamentary procedure.

  As president, Leon did not just facilitate and oversee the student government, but she also was able to meet the needs for the students. “Even more than the formalities, my job as Student Government body was to be there for my student and be their friend.”

  “Two of my proudest accomplishments as President was raising the GPA standard for the Executive Board because as student leaders we should lead with our grades. The second was requiring all Senate members and Executive Board members to complete at least 10 hours of community service. Since we are a community college, we should be serving in our communities.”

  As the president of FCSAA she does more than her time as the president of HCC’s SGA. As state president she attends all meetings, elucidate statewide problems, and promote enhancements of curriculum as well as share ideas and problems for legislation.

  “Our organization holds three conference through the year: September Leadership- where the focus is how to be a servant leader at your college, November Legislative – where the focus is voting on our Legislative Platform for the year, and Rally in Tally – where students travel to our state capitol to set up meeting with Legislators to advocate on the behalf of FCSSGA.” On an average they host about 450 plus students. Through planning these various conferences Leon gets to travel a lot.

  As the president of FCSAA Leon has been able to accomplish many great things. “This position has giving me the opportunity to represent nearly 1 million Florida College Students and grow as person and leader. As a student this position taught me to think beyond a student’s perspective and a glimpse in an administrators eyes.”

  With holding these positions, Leon would like to focus on the youth through creating a nonprofit organization that will connect the political process to 14-25 age group. “A lot of times politics isn’t geared to toward young adults unless they’re politically savvy,” says Leon. She plans on creating a lobbying group with the young adults to lobby the concerns of K-12 and higher education students.

  Daria Leon is an exceptional student who can keep her grades up through time management. As a Phi Theta Kappa scholar, Leon keeps her GPA over a 3.5. Through all her duties, she creates a great atmosphere for her peers and is a great example to others.