Alisha Raby Cefalo of Lynn has been named a recipient of the National Newman Civic Fellow Award, presented to student leaders who have taken action in pursuit of long-term social change, and who engage and inspire others in their communities. Students are nominated by their institution’s president.
The honor is named for Dr. Frank Newman, a founder of Campus Compact and a tireless advocate for the role of higher education in preparing students for active and engaged citizenship.
“We are fortunate to have the opportunity to celebrate such an extraordinary group of 218 students,” said Campus Compact president Andrew Seligsohn. “We are seeing a resurgence in student interest in acting to create lasting social change, and this year’s Newman Civic Fellows exemplify that commitment.”
Raby Cefalo will graduate from North Shore Community College this May with an associate degree in Environmental Horticulture. “Coming to NSCC has totally transformed my life, in large part, thanks to my advisor Barbara Heath and a two-year internship on an Adjunct Faculty member’s organic farm, Mehaffey Farm in Rowley. Before I came here I didn’t care about much other than survival and music. The different courses I’ve taken here have made me well rounded, and considerably improved my self-esteem and self-confidence.”
Raby Cefalo is involved with many activities at NSCC. She is a Senator in the NSCC Student Government Association (SGA), works with the NSCC chapter of MASSPIRG, writes and performs poetry at Walnut St. Cafe’s “Speak Up!,” and volunteered on a presidential political campaign. In building her leadership skills, she has overcome her fear of public speaking. Alisha recently led a SGA-sponsored student Town Hall Meeting with senior college leaders and spearheaded a book swap to save students money on textbooks.
“Alisha is exceptional amongst our students not only for her passion and service to NSCC, but also for her engagement with the wider community. She has positioned herself at the College to be both a leader and an advocate for students. She has championed such causes such as protecting a local land reservation and valuable water resources, and getting student voices heard,” said NSCC President Patricia A. Gentile.
Alisha has also excelled academically. She is an Honor Student with Phi Theta Kappa and has been named to the Dean’s List at NSCC each semester of her college career. Her civic and academic honors have contributed to her receiving five $1,000 scholarships. She has participated in two service-learning projects connected to courses in her program, giving her the opportunity to bridge her passion for the community with academic course work.
She plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree with an environmental focus at Goddard College so that she can create urban and rural sustainable landscapes. “I want to infuse sustainability everywhere I possibly can.”