The Cuban American Bar Association on Tuesday night awarded Miami Law students David Behar, Daniel A. Casamayor and Nicole Fernandez with scholarships for their distinguished commitment to academics and service. They received their awards at the annual Fall Mentors Reception and Scholarship Awards Presentation, which took place at Northern Trust on Brickell Avenue.
"Being recognized by such a prestigious organization that has such ties to my father's heritage and the Miami community is flattering," Behar said. "I'm proud and grateful."
Behar, who took home $5,000, has already racked up legal experience. Last summer, he worked as an associate in a commercial litigation department. In the summer of 2010, he worked as a judicial intern for the Honorable Chief Judge Paul G. Hyman in West Palm Beach. He is also the recipient of the Bruce J. Winick for Excellence scholarship. He said that this award will help him to pursue his dream of becoming a commercial litigator.
Behar is not alone in singing CABA's praises.
"I'm glad there are organizations that are available to help students," said Casamayor, who was awarded a $2,500 scholarship. Over the years, Casamayor has worked as a law clerk drafting immigrant and nonimmigrant work visa petitions for employers and employees in compliance with the Immigration and Nationality Act. He has also worked as a congressional assistant for Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Casamayor conducted legal research, created file indexes and reviewed public record databases as a legal intern.
Casamayor knows that this financial assistance will help him achieve his dreams of becoming a business immigration lawyer. "They're helping me," he said, "and I'm helping other people."
Fernandez is the recipient of the $500 Judge Margarita Esquiroz Scholarship. In 1979, Judge Esquiroz became the first Hispanic woman appointed judge in the state of Florida. For this reason, Fernandez says she's doubly blessed.
"I feel very privileged to receive an award named in her honor," said Fernandez, who finds comfort in the similarity of their stories. Fernandez said that both of her parents came to this country from Cuba so that she would have a chance to achieve her dreams.
"It's not about money, even though every little amount helps at UM," she said. "It's what it represents."