Holy Cross Student Receives National Award for Community Service and Leadership

Bryceida Valencia '23 smiles on the Holy Cross campus.

Bryceida Valencia '23 Named to the 2021 Cohort of Newman Civic Fellows

Sophomore and health studies major Bryceida Valencia '23 was named this year as a Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact. This year's cohort recognizes 212 students from 39 states, Washington, D.C. and Mexico as campus leaders who demonstrate "a commitment to finding solutions for challenges facing communities locally, nationally and internationally."

Valencia was selected for the fellowship because of her extensive civic and political engagement, her dedication as a mentor to first-year students and her commitment to deepening her understanding through Community Based Learning. Her extensive community activities include working locally with families at the Centro Las Americas food bank and with residents at the Brookdale Senior Living Center. A leader on campus, she served as a mentor to first-year students and promoted dialogue with peers at a 5-week Civitas Community Engagement Leadership Institute this summer.

Valencia is also part of the leadership team of the Pause Project, a new initiative which aims to create a college-wide "Sabbath hour" during which no classes would be scheduled and opportunities for prioritizing well-being would be encouraged.

As a first-generation Latinx student, Valencia credits the challenges that she faced in transitioning to higher education, as well as her own family story, as having cultivated her interests in mentoring, promoting wellness and addressing issues of equity and justice through political engagement.

"While adjusting to college, I found personal growth through reflection, community service and faith, which helped me balance between school, community engagement and personal well-being," says Valencia. "I am glad I have positions where I can voice my concerns, help my community and share information with others. As a student of color, I want to continue to create a welcoming and engaging environment for all students."

As a Newman Civic Fellow, Valencia will participate in a yearlong program that emphasizes personal, professional and civic growth. She will have the opportunity to participate in learning and networking opportunities to develop the skills and connections needed to create large-scale positive change.

To learn more about the Newman Civic Fellows, visit https://compact.org/newman-civic-fellowship/.