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From Fleeing Cuba for Freedom to President of NALEO: Dr. Lubby Navarro’s Journey to Spreading Hope

From Fleeing Cuba for Freedom to President of NALEO: Dr. Lubby Navarro’s Journey to Spreading Hope

It isn’t easy starting over in a new country, and it’s even harder when you’re forced to leave your home country under difficult circumstances. We got to chat with Cuba native Lubby Navarro, and she tells her inspiriting story of fleeing Cuba with her family in search of better opportunities. Today, she uses her experience to inspire work in her community and is dedicated to helping families thrive despite less fortunate circumstances.

Early life and coming to Miami
Born in Cuba, Lubby fled from the communist regime during the Mariel Boatlift in September of 1980. She explains that she and her family were held in El Mosquito Camp before they were able to leave. In terms of living conditions, she was forced to sleep on a mat in a tent and received very little food. Things didn’t improve once on board the boat, as they were carried through the straits of Florida in the middle of hurricane season.
“We wound up lost at sea in terrifying weather. There were children crying and even the adults were scared of the high waves pounding on the boat.” -Dr. Lubby Navarro
After a grueling journey of several days with many hungry and seasick passengers, Lubby and her family finally landed in Key West. After being processed at the Krome Detention Center, her family moved to New Jersey but returned to Miami by the time she was nine years old.

When childhood experience inspires purpose
Although Dr. Navarro endured a difficult childhood, it has emboldened her to become a source of protection and inspiration for other immigrant families. In high school, she attended the Florida Girls’ State Program, which opened her eyes to communities in need and helped set her on a path to social work and serving her community.
After obtaining a degree in Political Science from Florida International University, she went on to work for the Florida Senate and Florida House of Representatives as a legislative assistant. Since then, she has continued to work in the public sector and started the path to school board member in 2002.
Understanding how important it is to see one’s mission all the way through to a positive outcome, she has been serving the public for over 25 years, constantly looking for new and improved ways to touch lives and make a meaningful difference.

Sharing her hopeful message with other Hispanics
Dr. Navarro strongly believes in putting forth your best effort despite the adversity that might surround you. She spends her time finding ways to empower women and families to take control of their lives and write their own success stories.

“It is crucial to pave the way for our fellow Latinos, from all walks of life, to follow their dreams. As a mother, I want my daughter to have limitless opportunities with no glass ceilings in her future. I am always thinking about what can be done to realize the full potential of constituents in my primarily Hispanic community, as well as how to sustain and expand strong Hispanic representation. In my over 25 years of public service, I have relentlessly strived to uplift people from underserved communities as well as ensuring that the Hispanic men and women making a difference in our community receive due recognition.” – Dr. Lubby Navarro

See Also

Today, Dr. Lubby Navarro serves as President of NALEO, an educational fund that provides national leadership on key issues that affect Latino participation in our political process. Some of these include immigration and naturalization, voting rights, election reform, and even the appointment of qualified Latinos to top executive and judicial positions. You can read more about NALEO at
For more information on Dr. Lubby Navarro and her work, you can visit her

Haz clic para leer en Español: De huir de Cuba por la libertad a presidente de NALEO: Dr. Lubby Navarro hacia la difusión de esperanza

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