Caridad “Carrie” Lee currently serves as the chair of the board of trustees at Santa Fe College. “As a former educator, I know the impact education can have in changing lives,” Lee said. “It is the most valuable gift anyone can receive.” With this perspective, Lee has involved herself in many initiatives and programs that promote the value of education, particularly for women. Lee was instrumental in the establishment of the Women of Distinction Scholarship at Santa Fe College, a scholarship for women reentering the workforce. The funds are designed to provide career training for women as they attempt to acquire jobs with sufficient pay. Moreover, Lee previously served as the chair of the grants committee of the Community Foundation of North Central Florida, encouraging self-sufficiency among young women. Additionally, Lee served as co-chair for a history book project under the Florida Commission on the Status of Women Foundation.
Lee describes her greatest impact in one word: family. Her three children, Prentiss Lee Ladkani, Brittany Lee and Adam Lee, are all service oriented. They enjoy helping the community and contributing to its betterment as much as they can. Lee and her husband currently run two businesses in the community, but they still find ways to help those in need.
Faith, family and education are all important to Lee. She focuses most of her time and energy on these aspects of her life.
Having lived in Gainesville for 45 years, Lee is looking forward to the innovation that awaits the community. Lee expects Gainesville to continue growing as a high-tech city, considering the advancements made in technology and science thus far.
At the early age of 4, Lee came to the United States from Havana, Cuba. She recently had the opportunity to return to her birthplace and reunite with her 93-year-old aunt.