Isabella Farinas of Blue Bell, Pa., a high school student also enrolled at Montgomery County Community College, is one of only 273 students nationwide named a 2017 Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education.
A junior at 21st Century Cyber Charter School taking courses at MCCC under the College’s Dual Enrollment program, Farinas was nominated for the honor by MCCC for her work as a fellow with the Campus Election Engagement Project, organizing voter registration awareness and education initiatives at the College prior to last year’s Presidential election.
“Isabella is an extraordinary student and an inspiration to us all at Montgomery County Community College,” said MCCC President Dr. Kevin Pollock. “At 16 years old, Isabella’s leadership and commitment to civic engagement and collaborative action is visible in everything she does.”
Farinas serves as the captain of her water polo team at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, volunteers at Amnion Pregnancy Center, is a lifeguard at Greater Plymouth Community Center, and is active in her church where she leads Vacation Bible School and travels on annual missions. She was one of six MCCC students recently selected to represent the College during Lobby Day at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, meeting with area legislators to garner support for the funding of community colleges.
“I’m really excited,” Farinas said of the honor. “Being a Newman Civic Fellow will give me a lot of great opportunities.”
As a 2017 Newman Civic Fellow, Farinas will be a part of the first cohort to benefit from a completely re-designed fellowship. The Newman Civic Fellowship, named for Campus Compact co-founder Frank Newman, is a one-year experience emphasizing personal, professional, and civic growth. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The fellowship also provides fellows with access to exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.
“The cultivation of community-committed leaders has never been more crucial,” said Campus Compact President Andrew Seligsohn. “We rebuilt the Newman Civic Fellowship experience because our country needs more people who know how to bring communities together for positive change. We are thrilled to welcome this group of 273 exemplary students as the first cohort to participate in this new model.”