Crystal Lorenzo, a Niagara University sophomore majoring in psychology and Spanish, has been named a 2013 Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact for demonstrating outstanding leadership and civic engagement. The Fredonia native was among the less than 200 students in the country to receive the award.
Campus Compact is a national coalition of almost 1,200 college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education.
Lorenzo was nominated by the Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M., president of Niagara University.
As founder and president of the university's chapter To Write Love on Her Arms, Lorenzo is working tirelessly to address issues of depression and the co-occurring effects of substance abuse and self-injury that often result when left untreated. Her impact is felt on campus, where she heads several initiatives raising conversations and providing safe spaces for young people to share their stories and their struggles.
Lorenzo is also impacting the local community, working with local businesses to raise awareness about teen issues and to create a local "It Gets Better" video for youth who may be contemplating suicide. She expects to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and open a private practice to provide mental health counseling for children and young adults.
"Crystal possesses the passion and energy that is needed to truly make a difference in the community," Levesque said. "As a sophomore, she has demonstrated on numerous occasions that she is already an outstanding leader, a young lady with a very bright future."
Lorenzo was featured in a 2011 advertising campaign for Niagara, and maintains a blog on the university's website.
The Newman Civic Fellows Award honors inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. Through service, research and advocacy, Newman Civic Fellows are making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change.
These students represent the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders. They serve as national examples of the role that higher education can - and does - play in building a better world.
Newman Civic Fellows awards are made in memory of Frank Newman, who dedicated his life to creating systemic change through education reform. At the core of Newman's leadership was a belief in the power of individuals to make a difference, and in the power of connection with others.
Newman Civic Fellows form a unique network of leaders who will inspire and keep hope alive for one another during college and afterward, as the network expands exponentially each year.
The Newman Civic Fellows Awards are made possible through the support of the KPMG Foundation. A full list of the 2013 Newman Civic Fellows is available on www.compact.org.
To learn more about Niagara University, visit www.niagara.edu.