As a first-generation college student and American, Katelyn Leal knows firsthand the power of the American Dream. While economic hardship prevented her parents from realizing their entrepreneurial dreams, Leal hopes the business education and experiences she has gained at USF will enable her to achieve success as a forensic accountant. As a result, she decided to pursue a double major in accounting and economics with a minor in criminology.

Leal is dedicated to serving her community. Since high school she has volunteered for Relay For Life, benefiting the American Cancer Society, and has taken on leadership positions with Relay for Life at USF. She is also part of the society’s Luminaria Committee – her favorite committee – commemorating those who have succumbed to or are still living with cancer.

As part of the Corporate Mentor Program, she volunteers at Academy Prep Center of Tampa, working with underprivileged students. Through the Honors College, she participated in alternative break trips to Puerto Rico and Jamaica. Since August 2013, she has also interned with Hillsborough County as a legislative intern for Commissioner Kevin Beckner.  There, she is involved in the Violence Prevention Collaborative.

Leal will spend her summer in Washington, D.C. as the Washington Center has invited her to be a participant in an academic internship designed to prepare high achievers for lives of achievement, engagement and leadership.