Junior Kenan Scholar Andrea Prego is recognized for her tireless work in the Latinx community. This year Prego was named to LatinxEd’s “20 Under 20,” a competition focused on elevating Latinx students across North Carolina.
Prego describes why the award is important to her. “To me, this award is a message,” she says. “It is a voice to Latinx students everywhere that now is our time to put light on the issues that we care about and express the passions we have. It is to let us know that somewhere, someone is watching, showing us that it is okay to be unapologetically ourselves.”
The “20 Under 20” program recognizes excellence in scholarship, community and leadership. Dedication to community is why Prego constantly pushes herself. Her commitment is demonstrated in her work with the Latin American Chamber of Commerce, an organization dedicated to empowering and supporting businesses in the Latinx community. Additionally, Prego is an active member and the president of Lambda Pi Chi sorority, which often hosts events to celebrate Latin American heritage.
Prego’s connection to the community influences everything she does. “It is an honor to have been selected as a recipient of this award,” she says. “It serves as a reminder that everything I do is for a reason, for goals that I have for myself and for uplifting my community. It means that no matter how stressed I become when I pack on my extracurriculars, my academics, or my community service, there is a bigger picture to it all.”
As for leadership, it is evident Prego’s dedication and passion has led her to become a strong voice for the Latinx community. She says about her dedicated leadership, “If you have the passion to make a change, know that you have a community that is here to recognize you and uplift you, because our time for action is now. Be who you are, be proud of it, and let it push you beyond your limits.”
However, leadership is not simply about passion and dedication. Prego says, “I cannot say that by receiving this award I represent what it means to be a leader in my community, because I have learned that leaders come in many different forms.”
The Kenan Scholars program emphasizes what scholars can do both now and in the future to enhance the public good by harnessing the power of academia, business and the public sector. Prego understands the “20 Under 20” award on similar terms. She says, “It is a responsibility, a job, to continue to hold myself accountable for the goals that I have set, because somewhere, someone believes in me enough to know that I can make an impact. And I want to prove them right.”
Somehow, we think she will.
“It is a voice to Latinx students everywhere that now is our time to put light on the issues that we care about and express the passions we have. It is to let us know that somewhere, someone is watching, showing us that it is okay to be unapologetically ourselves.”Andrea Prego, Kenan Scholar