Andrew Navarro has always been self-motivated. “Whenever I do anything, I try to go at it with all my heart,” he says. A first-generation college student, Navarro was born in Miami, Florida, to parents who immigrated to the United States from Colombia and Mexico. “Both my mother and father had to quit school by the equivalent of the fifth grade in their countries,” he says. “Although they had difficult lives, they were always very supportive of my goals.”
Navarro completed his undergraduate degree in history at Harvard University and worked as the head Spanish translator for the Romney for President campaign in 2012. He later worked as a financial systems analyst in the San Francisco Bay Area. Feeling like he could do more to help people, Navarro accepted a position as senior program director for Humanitarian Experience Inc., a faith-based organization dedicated to building infrastructure in developing countries through youth service projects. “It was amazing to see the self-sufficiency and the entrepreneurial spirit of people. I hope to use my law degree to empower people to live better lives,” he says.
At BYU Law, Navarro has been involved with the Minority Law Student Association, a forum for law students interested in sharing the values of different cultures and heritages. “A lot of minority students are immigrants or the children of immigrants. It can be hard to march to the beat of the same drum as everyone else because we’ve had distinct types of experiences,” he says. “Law school can help you become more conscientious of others, more empathetic, less judgmental. It helped me overcome preconceived notions about myself and my life.”
After graduation, Navarro will join Ballard Spahr in Salt Lake City, a firm that encourages associates to devote significant time to pro bono work. Navarro says, “With my business and legal background, I would love to be able to help nonprofits by creating a business model to help them establish themselves legally.” Navarro also hopes to continue working with BYU Law’s Community Legal Clinic. “There are many ways to help people with a law degree,” he says.