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Miami Dade College Paralegal Studies Student Wins National Scholarship

Jessica Giraldo

Scholarship winner Jessica Giraldo and MDC Law Center Director Thomas Nguyen

Miami, September 10, 2010 - Miami Dade College (MDC) paralegal studies major Jessica Giraldo recently won a scholarship from the National Federation of Paralegal Association (NFPA) and Thomson Reuters, a renowned publisher of education materials. Giraldo was selected from a national pool to receive a scholarship worth $2,000 and attend the 2010 NFPA Annual Convention set for Oct. 7-10 in Cherry Hill, NJ. 

Driven and with the goal of becoming a lawyer, Giraldo is taking advantage of every opportunity to come her way. Earlier this year she won a $500 scholarship from the South Florida Paralegal Association. She also hones her skills working as a paralegal for the Santini Law Firm.  

Giraldo’s essay on utilizing paralegals and paralegal students for pro-bono services earned her the NFPA scholarship, which will help cover cost of tuition and books for her two remaining semesters at MDC.

“By working in the field I found out just how much I love it,” Giraldo said. “This has been a wonderful experience. MDC has allowed me to grow exponentially.”

In addition to her academic work, Giraldo expects to be inducted as a member of Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX), the national honor society for paralegals. She has also served as president of MDC’s Society for Law and Community Service, and is an MDC Paralegal Studies Advisory member.

She has volunteered to help preserve the Miami-Dade County Law Library, combat domestic violence, and help the United Way and Miami Book Fair International. She also serves as a Florida Bar Liaison for the South Florida Paralegal Association.

MDC offers an Associate in Science in paralegal studies, the only American Bar Association-approved program in the country. The program was founded in 1975 to educate newly arrived Cuban exiles so they could earn gainful employment and later grew to meet the highest standards in paralegal education.


For more information about MDC’s Paralegal Studies Program, please contact Thomas Nguyen, director of the Law Center, at 305-237-3048 or More information is also available at

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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