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Lorraine SantaLucia: President of Scholarship Sharing at VCU

Name:
Lorraine SantaLucia

Year:
Junior

Major:
Public Relations

Minor:
Business, Spanish

Certificate:
Spanish-English Translation

GPA:
3.8

Favorite past-time(s) or hobby:
Playing with my puppy Dixie who is a black and brown dachshund, watching NCIS, and reading dystopian novels!

During your college experience, what organizations have you been involved with?
I have been involved with Operation Smile at VCU, UNICEF at VCU, and most recently I started Scholarship Sharing at VCU.

What positions do you hold in Operation Smile and Scholarship Sharing?
I currently am the President of Scholarship Sharing at VCU.

Last year for Operation Smile at VCU I was the Fundraising Chair and currently I am the Public Relations Chair. I have been the Public Relations Director with UNICEF at VCU for the last year, and only just recently stepped down from the position to focus more on my studies and will continue to work with UNICEF as a member instead of an officer.

I’m a member of several other orgs but it would be so many pages to name them all!

What compelled you to join these organizations?
I was compelled to join Operation smile at VCU the moment I learned that I could help literally put a smile on the face of children all over the world. I love working with children and it makes me especially happy that by working with Operation Smile I can give children the chance for better lives who suffer from facial deformities such as Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate. I was blessed to be born healthy and with a beautiful smile, I am getting an education, and I am able to speak two different languages without difficulty. Children with cleft lips and cleft palates are often shunned from schools, don’t receive proper nutrition, and have speech problems throughout their lives. In too many cases, their parents can’t afford to give them the surgeries they need to live a normal life. As the Public Relations Chair this semester, I will work with the VCU campJus raise awareness about this extremely curable medical condition — and help raise funds to create a world with more smiles. 

I recently founded an awesome organization called Scholarship Sharing. We started out as a small group on Facebook with just a few members from VCU who were friends of mine. Soon the group began to expand to high school students, then colleges throughout several states in the US, then before I knew it we had members from all over the world in China, Nigeria and Tanzania Africa, the Philippines, and Panama. What began as only 10 students became 297 in less than three weeks over the summer.

We offer students several career building workshops including resume workshops, budget workshops, Interview workshops, scholarship application workshops and individual scholarship consultations, presentations from on campus financial resources, as well as scholarship webinars and student advice forums.

As the President of Scholarship Sharing at VCU, what are you looking forward to most during 2012-2013?
I am most looking forward to helping students fund their education, and giving them the tools and advice they need to graduate without a bunch of student loans to pay off. I look forward to working with several on campus student organizations as well as school departments that offer scholarships.

This year I am very excited to be hosting events with my fantastic officers who have made this group a success from day one. One of our ongoing events this semester is our student funded scholarship. We have begun raising funds for a VCU student scholarship called the “Sharing is Caring” Scholarship for Scholarship Sharing at VCU student members. We have already raised $195 and our goal is to reach $1,000 by the end of 2013. I look forward to reaching our goal and being able to present a deserving student with a check for their education.

What is your message to the student-body about your organization?
During my two years at VCU I have been awarded about $40,000 in Scholarships from VCU and external sources and Grants. It was time consuming, tedious, and often very last minute, but it definitely paid off. Anyone who thinks scholarships are out of reach because they don’t qualify for them, do not have good enough grades, or just aren’t going to win because they have lost before should join the group to find out about how to and where to apply for scholarships because they are out there. Scholarships are very attainable, but require a lot of dedication and effort. If you are looking for the support of a family of people who are going to help you every step of the way, look no further than Scholarship Sharing at VCU. We are a support group that helps to motivate, and educate you on your quest to graduate without student loan debt.

What is your dream career and why?
My dream career is to work in a non-profit organization as a Public Relations Practitioner. I would like to be able to help specifically with organizations that help the Latin American community and children. I am currently working on a Spanish-English translation certification in order to be able to work in a position where I can directly work with families to resolve their problems.

I would also LOVE to make scholarship sharing an official nonprofit organization that is dedicated to helping students fund their education nationwide. I understand that getting a college education is expensive, and those who need the help most often don’t know even where to begin. Once I graduate from college the first thing I will be doing is applying to make scholarship sharing an official 501 c3 organization. I will be establishing a headquarters for the organization, and it is my hope that I will be able to reach out and touch the lives of even more students.

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years?
In ten years I hope to see myself as a successful business woman running my own non-profit organization, and working with medical and educational missions all over the world. My passion is to help children and young adults move forward in their lives and have the opportunity to start a new chapter.

Who are some of your inspirations or role models?
Some of my greatest inspirations have been Theodore Roosevelt who throughout his presidency promoted and advocated for peace, Ruby Bridges who had the courage to help integrate the public school system at only six years old, and my grandmother Luz De Pasquale who was one of the first woman journalists in Panama and who has taught me that if I set my mind to it, there is no force that can stop me.

What motivates you to be a leader?
The people that motivate me to be a leader are my wonderful siblings who I have set out to be an example for so that when they get older they see they can accomplish anything they set out to do too. I also have some beautiful children who I worked with during my freshmen year at Stonewall Jackson Middle school in Roanoke Virginia as their after school teacher and translator, and during my sophomore summer I met the children at Midway Manor Youth Center in Virginia Beach Virginia who I have to be an example for. I strive for excellence and leadership because if a five foot tall, 20 year old girl like me can do it what is stopping them?

Is there anything you want to share with us about yourself?
I’m the kind of person that needs to be constantly doing something. I am a very active and kind person, and I’m when someone asks for my help I can be counted on to help out. I’m very dedicated to my studies, and I’m a very family oriented person. I am likely to randomly burst out into song, and am always reachable by email or text message. I am also called “Lolo” by the majority of my friends and family.
 

Chelsea is a Her Campus alumnae and the Cofounder and former President and Editor-In-Chief of Virginia Commonwealth University's Her Campus chapter. Chelsea has diverse professional experience thanks to her many internships in college. Her experience includes working in the research department at Viacom's MTV, assisting the CEO of a boutique jewelry brand in NYC, and working at an English tourist magazine in Japan. Beyond her professional life, Chelsea is inspired by fashion, finance, all things Harry Potter, her dream of working for a company she loves, and her travels. Chelsea turns to Sailor Moon episodes and Harry Potter soundtracks when life gets tough. Also a good amount of shopping, traveling, and making memories with loved ones will maintain her status quo.Connect!LinkedIn Instagram: @chelsskubo
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