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Fabiana LazoBrookhaven student, Fabiana Lazo, was awarded the Dr. Juan Andrade Jr. Scholarship for Young Hispanic Leaders. Recipients received a $1,000 academic scholarship and a conference scholarship to attend the the U.S. Hispanic Leadership 38th National Conference held in Chicago in Feb. 20-23.

"Hundreds of students apply for this competitive national scholarship and we should be very proud our very own Brookhaven College student was selected," said Martha Villegas Miranda, senior academic advisor and mentor.

Fabiana, who goes by Fabi, said attending the conference workshops and listening to inspiring speakers helped her gain a renewed sense of purpose and level of confidence she didn't realize she was lacking as a Latina.

"The empowerment I gained throughout the conference has transformed me into a more sedulous and perseverant future Latina leader in my community and to not be afraid of letting my voice be heard as it can bring other people together to connect," she said.

Fabi was born in Lima, Peru and immigrated to the U.S. with her family in 2009. She is a first-generation student studying political science and plans to transfer to either Texas Tech or University to North Texas after graduation in May to pursue a career in law.

"It has been a struggle for me to be in the position I am proudly in, but even if there might be obstacles that come my way, I manage to stay strong and learn from the situations rather than letting it bring me down by building a stronger focus toward the goals I want to achieve. That is the person I want to continue being," she said. "This scholarship will grant me great help throughout my American dream."

Fabi actively serves her fellow students on the Brookhaven campus as a Student Government Association senator, an active member of Phi Theta Kappa and peer leader for incoming students.