STU student receives leadership award

Nahomi Lopez didn’t initially plan on going to St. Thomas University, but she has made a huge impact on the small campus and the Fredericton community since she arrived three years ago.

“I came to Canada barely knowing anyone and I left knowing a community and actually being recognized for that,” Lopez said.

Lopez’s college counsellor accidentally sent her transcripts to STU. Lopez had no intention of studying at STU, until she received a call from the university informing her that they had her transcript, but not her application. They told her she had really good grades and should apply, so she decided to go for it.

Nahomi Lopez after landing in Panama with the STU Global Brigades group. (Photo: Submitted)

Nahomi Lopez didn’t initially plan on going to St. Thomas University, but she has made a huge impact on the small campus and the Fredericton community since she arrived three years ago.

“I came to Canada barely knowing anyone and I left knowing a community and actually being recognized for that,” Lopez said.

Lopez’s college counsellor accidentally sent her transcripts to STU. Lopez had no intention of studying at STU, until she received a call from the university informing her that they had her transcript, but not her application. They told her she had really good grades and should apply, so she decided to go for it.
When she found out she got accepted, she packed her bags and headed off to Canada for a new journey.

In her first month at STU, she became a wing rep in Harrington Hall and was elected as international representative for South America for STU’s international student association. She went on to became the only first-year student to attend a leadership conference in Prince Edward Island, helped organize Mr. St. Thomas, and got involved with Relay for Life. Her list of activities continued in her second and third years as well, becoming a tour ambassador and the treasurer for the Global Brigades group.
Lopez was recently recognized for her dedication to the community by Fredericton MP Matt DeCourcey.

“When I got the news, I was so happy because I thought it’s a great way of finishing this adventure,” Lopez said.

She got the news that she won a Canada 150 Community Leadership Award in the category of youth engagement and leadership five days before she left for an exchange at IRCOM in Angers, France to study management of communications.

“I was actually at work when I got the call — they called my work,” she said. When her co-workers told her that Matt DeCourcey had called her she said, “What? Matt DeCourcey just called me?”

When she called his office back, they told her that the award ceremony was happening on Sept. 15—but she had to leave on Aug. 31 for her exchange. They arranged to meet at the farmer’s market two days before she left so she could receive the award.

“It was the best way of ending off my years in Canada,” Lopez said.

Lopez has always been an active member of her community. When she was growing up in Ecuador, she volunteered weekly at an orphanage, an old age home and a place for people with disabilities.

Notes: @Panama w. Global Brigades (Submitted)

“That feeling of knowing you’re helping others is so gratifying and enriching. You never know what your actual impact on other’s lives is,” she said.

Lopez believes strongly in the importance of being an active member of the community.

“Always be involved in doing something,” Lopez said.

“There are so many clubs and societies and I feel that everyone should at least be involved in one of them.”

Although she’s still getting to know France, she’s already thinking of organizing a group session to teach English to students who are interested in going on an exchange to an English-speaking country.

“I know what it’s like to be in a place where you don’t know the language and it’s absolutely one of the hardest things,” she said.

But she misses STU, particularly her professors in the romance languages and communications departments, and her friends. She’s hoping to make it back to Fredericton in time for her May graduation and she said she might even try to run for valedictorian by doing an online campaign.

“Canada is my second home and I miss my friends very much … Everyone who works at STU is amazing, I love them all,” Lopez said.

“I don’t have friends in Canada — I have a family.”

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

You May Also Like

Sexual assault centre reaches out to students

By Candice Whitman The Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre launched a new campaign last week ...

Budget debt cap pleases students

By Alyssa Mosher When Kayla Brown heard that the Government of New Brunswick issued ...

Dialogue session to hear all voices

By Kyle Mullin A debate on the Gaza conflict will be held in McCain ...

A ritual to remember: Memorial held for first-year student

By Kyle Mullin Friends, peers and professors gathered outside James Dunn Hall last Monday ...

Controversy surrounds N.B. beer

By Amy MacKenzie It’s not just the taste of New Brunswick’s new beer that ...

George Martin honoured at memorial service

By Stephanie Kelly Past and present members of the St. Thomas community gathered Friday ...