Nicholas Icaro had a rough start. When he was 5, a car accident rendered his father quadriplegic. When he was 12, his mother suffered a work injury that kept her from ever holding down another job. Public assistance followed.
On Friday, May 25 at 10 a.m., Icaro will be among 184 other students to receive their law degree from Florida International University’s College of Law. The ceremony will take place at the U.S. Century Bank Arena.
The keynote speaker will be U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who is serving in his fifth term in Congress. Diaz-Balart was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 to represent Florida’s 25th Congressional district. In 2010, he ran unopposed for Florida’s 21st Congressional district, which was vacated by his brother, Lincoln Diaz-Balart.
“Nicholas is a shining example of the determination, energy and passion that our law students possess,” said FIU College of Law Dean R. Alexander Acosta. “Like Rep. Diaz-Balart, many of our students have achieved success through hard work and determination, so it is fitting that he should be the one addressing our graduates. Their personal and academic experiences will make them stronger lawyers and stronger advocates for those in need.”
Maybe it was his parents’ insistence that their son rise above their misfortune; maybe it was Icaro’s own drive and intellect; maybe a little bit of both; but the 27-year-old now has his eyes set on taking the bar examination and becoming an attorney on a mission to make a difference.
“I really want to do something genuine,” he said. “I want to help people in the same situation I was in and help them realize that it’s not impossible. Even if you have no money, no educational background in your family, or grew up in a tough neighborhood, it’s never too late. There’s always a way out.”