Fakisha Fabre, a student in the Master’s in Public Administration Program in the McCormack Graduate School, is the 2017 "29 Who Shine" award winner from the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Fabre and 28 other outstanding 2017 graduates of community colleges and state universities across the commonwealth were honored for academic achievement, leadership, and commitment to community service at a State House ceremony on Friday. To receive the award, students must be Massachusetts residents who plan to continue living and working in the state after graduation. Winners plan to pursue a career in a needed field in the commonwealth, work at a startup, or take on a community service role.
“When I heard I was UMass Boston’s pick for 29 Who Shine for 2017, I was honored, I was overwhelmed, and proud,” Fabre said.
Fabre, who has been fulfilling Americorps commitments while a student at UMass Boston, is applying for work at nonprofits in the Boston area, where she would be working with kids or for kids.
“It’s very important to me to stay in Boston. I was born and raised in Massachusetts. It’s in my soul. I went to UMass Boston for a reason,” Fabre said.
Fabre also received her bachelor's degree from UMass Boston. Last year the Brockton native graduated from the Honors College with a degree in English and minor in political science.
She enrolled in the accelerated 4+1 master’s program, which allows qualified undergraduates in the College of Liberal Arts and Honors College to finish their master’s degrees in approximately half the time and at half the cost of a traditional two-year master’s program. Instead of taking undergraduate electives, Fabre started taking graduate coursework last year so that she could have two degrees in five years.
As an undergrad, Fabre was an Honors College Ambassador, a CLA First! mentor, and a volunteer for both the early language and literacy program Jumpstart and Strong Women, Strong Girls. While a student in the Honors College, she studied abroad at Oxford University through UMass Boston's Office of Global Programs. Currently she is an Americorps ambassador for Strong Women, Strong Girls. She is also a McCormack Scholar.
For this year's capstone project, Fabre studied 20 nonprofits in the Boston area that work for and with children.
"It is focused not only on the work that they do as a highlight and a showcase of the good work that they're doing, but it also has a twist on it, with our current political climate and how the work that they are doing may be affected by the 45th president," Fabre said.
“The 29 Who Shine honorees are exceptional student leaders who saw a way to improve something and acted on it, and for that we are grateful. They are a credit to the colleges and universities they attend. We are proud of their contributions to their communities and the commonwealth,” Education Secretary James Peyser said.
Fabre says although she will miss the university that's given her two degrees now, she's ready for whatever comes next.
"I will say for the rest of my life, UMass Boston is my first love. Absolutely," Fabre said.