Five CBA Students Honored at Areté Awards for Outstanding Service

On March 20th, 19 LMU students (five from the CBA) were honored at the annual Areté Awards hosted by LMU’s Center for Service & Action. Areté is the Greek word for goodness, excellence and character of merit or virtue. The Areté Awards honor graduating seniors who have demonstrated their commitment to service and justice through off-campus volunteer service, especially with the poor and marginalized.

The five students from the College of Business Administration who were honored at the event are:

Michelle Figueroa is a Business Administration major with an emphasis on Entrepreneurship from Lynwood, California. Throughout her time at LMU, she has completed a total of 906 hours of service. Michelle is involved in Special Games and has gone on three Alternative Breaks trips. She has also worked at Circle of Friends and Convento Trinitarias de Suesa. Michelle says, “I find passion in doing service with individuals with special needs, Latino communities and other service through religious reflection.” After graduation, she plans on continuing to serve the special needs community whether it’s through a nonprofit or some other means.

Erik Nelsen is an Accounting and Economics double major from Sunnyvale, California. Throughout his time at LMU, he has completed a total of 448 hours of service through Special Games and an Alternative Breaks trip to Colorado. Erik says, “Service has impacted me because it has really broadened my friendships while also helping me grow as an individual.” After graduation, Erik hopes to get a job at an accounting firm that works with nonprofits and continue to inspire others as he has done at LMU.

Lauren Okimoto is an Entrepreneurship major from Honolulu, Hawaii. Throughout her time at LMU, she has completed a total of 316 hours of service through many Alternative Breaks trips, Gryphon Circle Service Organization and MESA. Through her service experiences, Lauren has learned how “people can really make a difference in another’s life.” After graduation, Lauren plans on doing post-grad service and hopes to one day teach English in Cambodia at the Bridge of Life School and then eventually become a social entrepreneur.

Sage Vargas is a Marketing major from Agoura Hills, California. Throughout his time at LMU, he has completed a total of 503 hours of service through Sursum Corda Service Organization, MESA, Alternative Breaks and De Colores trips as well as other agencies. Sage says, “I was made to help people and to serve others.” After graduation, Sage wants to do post-grad service and his top choice is Good Shepherd in New York.

Joseph Villarosa is a Marketing major from Pomona, California. Throughout his time at LMU, he has completed a total of 349 hours of service at several agencies including SAGE and BSC and Alternative Breaks trips to Vietnam and Guatemala. Joseph says, “I have learned service is not a temporary thing and does not have to stop after LMU.” Joseph plans on doing post-grad service after graduation at either City Year San Jose or AmeriCorps NCCC.

Congrats to all the honorees!