April 13, 2006 • Volume 14 Number 15

Nora Frias '07 (right) is applauded by her sister Dora (left) on being announced as this yearís winner of the Archbishop Romero Scholarship.

Frias Is Named Romero Scholarship Winner

By By Reid Oslin
Staff Writer

Junior Nora Frias, whose career at Boston College has been inspired by the Jesuit mission of "being men and women for others," has been named winner of the 14th annual Archbishop Oscar A. Romero Scholarship.

The scholarship is awarded to a third-year student who best represents the ideals and values of Archbishop Romero, an activist for the poor in El Salvador who was assassinated in 1980 while celebrating Mass.

University President William P. Leahy, SJ presented the scholarship award - three-quarters of a year's tuition and a $1,000 gift certificate for the BC Bookstore - to Frias at a March 25 ceremony held in the Murray Room of the Yawkey Athletic Center.

A psychology major from El Paso, Tex., Frias terms herself "a hyperactive member" of the Organization of Latin American Affairs, and has been deeply involved with the group's tutoring projects and service work in the Boston-area Hispanic community.

Frias also took part in an immersion service trip to Chiapas, Mexico, served as a teaching assistant in the University's course in the History and Development of Racism and is co-director of programming for the Women of Color Caucus.

"She is a very impressive person," says AHANA Assistant Director and OLAA advisor Joana Maynard, "and a lot of that is rooted in her upbringing. Her parents have done an excellent job making her aware of her surroundings and her connections to other people and the responsibility she has not just in her community, but in the world in general.

"Nora is very passionate about educational issues, issues about Latino students and the Latino population, especially concerning the injustices facing the people of the world," adds Maynard. "For her, it's just not talking about change, it's engaging in the process of affecting some type of change."

Born in Mexico, Frias came to El Paso with her family at age 3. "When it was time for college, I definitely wanted to come to a school in the northeast," she said. "I really liked the service aspect of Boston College and the opportunities that are provided for that here.

"The whole Jesuit mission of being men and women for others is definitely very appealing to me," she said. "When I see anything come up on campus that I am passionate about, I don't hesitate to offer my services."

When she learned that she had won the Romero award, Frias says, "I was shocked, but I felt really, really blessed. I had to take a deep breath and count my blessings and be thankful for the opportunity to be recognized in that way for service and for commitment to justice."

Frias is undecided about her future paths of study. She is considering taking a year to work in a service program such as AmeriCorps, and pursue graduate studies in social work, psychology or law.

"I definitely want to continue my education," she says, "as I am not done learning yet."

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