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Quickly rising in the crowded field of 2016 Republican presidential candidates is 44-year-old junior senator from Florida, Marco Rubio.

As the son of a bartender and a maid, Rubio came from humble beginnings.

In 1956, his parents moved to the U.S. from Cuba with dreams like so many others, embarking on a lifelong journey to achieve their “American Dream.”

Through his parents’ hard work, sacrifice and unrelenting determination, Rubio saw his childhood as one of privilege because he was an American. He witnessed firsthand what it takes to achieve success and exemplifies this knowledge in his determination to reclaim the American Dream by making sure this century becomes a New American Century, demanding 21st-century leadership and bold, conservative agenda reform.

“All of these efforts are aimed squarely at one thing — restoring the hope and promise that the American Dream is real and that every American can achieve their own unique version of that dream,” asserts his campaign website, MarcoRubio.com.

Sen. Rubio stands for a new era rooted in “the principles of free enterprise, limited government and individual responsibility — but adjusted to meet the new challenges of a new day,” according to his website.

He will create jobs by empowering innovators rather than punishing them, cutting taxes for all businesses to 25 percent, establishing a territorial tax system to help bring overseas profits back to the United States, and putting a ceiling on the amount U.S. regulators can cost our economy.

“My tax plan can be summed up in one word: simple. The core of my plan is to simplify the tax code and cut taxes dramatically. This plan will make America competitive on a global scale to encourage investment and innovation here at home. The result: better paying jobs for hard-working Americans,” Rubio said on his website.

In addition to reforming and simplifying our tax code, Rubio has a unique approach to higher education as well. He will simplify existing incentives to help students pursue higher education, equip students and families with information necessary to make informed college decisions, reduce the burden of student loan debt by establishing automatic income-based repayment, reform an outdated accreditation system to accommodate non-traditional education and invest in student success.

“Our higher education system is antiquated and broken in multiple ways. It is too expensive, too time consuming and too inflexible for busy single parents and working adults. At a time when higher education is a requirement for most high-paying jobs, too many Americans do not have the time or money to earn a degree, and too many degrees do not lead to jobs,” Rubio opined on his website.

“Every generation has been called upon to confront challenges. And every generation has succeeded in preserving the American Dream for their children and grandchildren. Now it is our turn,” he further explained.

October is Policy Month and for each day of the month, new issues, such as Sen. Rubio’s stance on foreign policy, veterans and protecting innocent life, among others, are being added to his website.

Interested students are encouraged to check out UCF’s Students for Rubio chapter, Knights for Rubio, a network of students who are working collaboratively to help U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio become the 2016 Republican nominee.

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Lauren Konkol is a contributing writer for the Central Florida Future.

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