Recent Rollins Grad Encourages Others to Recycle Books for Third World Countries

June 21, 2008

Rebeca Montaner (second from right) meets with students in Venezuela.
Rollins College 2008 graduates Tessie Swope (far right) and Rebeca Montaner during a service trip in Mexico.

Rebeca Montaner, a 2008 graduate of Rollins College, will soon be sending about 2,000 textbooks to state universities in Venezuela. About a year ago, she founded “The Book Network” as a way to recycle college textbooks by offering them to students at discounted prices or donating them to local libraries and Third World countries. Since that time, she has shipped more than 400 books to libraries in Venezuela, sent computers to the Dominican Republic for schools and donated money to America Developing Smiles (an organization that builds schools throughout Latin America).

Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to have a positive impact in the world,” said Montaner. “I believe we are all given an opportunity to use our talents for the benefit of the positive development of mankind.” When she was just 15, Montaner started a non-profit organization called H.U.E.Y.A.S. (Hispanics United to Educate Youth for Academic Success). The goal was to give free seminars to new immigrants explaining the American education system.

Rebeca Montaner and Omar Rachid
Rebeca Montaner (right) with sophomore Omar Rachid, who will take over as president of Rollins' BookNetwork Club.

“I decided to use all of my talents and experiences to come up with a solution so that everyone could receive a good education,” said Montaner. During her time at Rollins, she served with various positions with The Five Stones Project, a non-profit organization whose mission is to alleviate poverty in the rural areas of the Dominical Republic. She also took community service trips to Mexico, Bolivia, Colombia and Thailand, which reaffirmed her belief in the importance of education. For more information about America Developing Smiles, visit

To donate books or your time to “The Book Network,” contact the College’s warehouse at 407-646-2334 or e-mail Rebeca Montaner at

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