Blanca Perez with Lisa Keyne, NC Compact executive director, and keynote speaker Paul Loeb. (Photo by Ally Favory, UNCW)
Warren Wilson College junior Blanca Perez is one of 17 students across the state to receive the 2012 Community Impact Award. Given by North Carolina Campus Compact, the award recognizes college students who make significant, innovative efforts to address local community needs.
Perez works weekly with Asheville elementary school students in a school garden; co-leads a mentoring program for Latino youth; and is an active leader of WHOLA, a multicultural student group that promotes cultural awareness by addressing the diversity of the Latino community.
Perez spent last summer with South Central Farmers, a community garden that supports healthy and nutritious food availability for those living in her hometown of Los Angeles. After graduation, she hopes to start a community resource center in her Los Angeles neighborhood.
The community service award is presented at North Carolina Campus Compact’s annual student conference. NC Campus Compact is an association of colleges and universities committed to fostering campus-community engagement. Since 2002, the Compact has hosted a conference where student leaders learn and share strategies to address community issues.
This year’s event, held at UNC Wilmington on Nov. 3, brought together 125 students from 18 campuses. Keynote speaker Paul Loeb, author of “Soul of a Citizen,” presented the award. Perez also received a Certificate of Appreciation from Gov. Bev Perdue.