Lilian Maldonado-Garcia is the first annual recipient of the Dr. Gisela Spieker Prize, a $500 award presented to an outstanding first-generation college graduate. Maldonado-Garcia, who arrived in the U.S. at 14 speaking no English, received her degree from Tulane SoPA in the fall of 2019.
Academic Honors and Work in Immigration
Maldonado-Garcia completed her bachelor's degree in General Legal Studies while working full time as a legal secretary. She was named to the 2020 Class of Tulane 34, the university's most exclusive student honor. She was also inducted in Alpha Sigma Lambda, the national honor society for adult students, and repeatedly earned Dean's list honors. She works as an immigration paralegal, assisting others with applications for asylum and special visas for victims of crimes. Maldonado-Garcia is currently studying for the LSAT and plans to attend law school.