Amanda Nuno became a parent at the age of 14. While many doubted she would even graduate from high school, the teen mom overcame many obstacles and recently was honored as one of the California State University system’s outstanding students.
The 21-year-old California State University, Northridge student said the support she received from her family, high school teachers and the Educational Opportunity Program helped her overcome financial and academic challenges. She was one of 23 students honored by the CSU Board of Trustees with the 2015 CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement for her academic success, personal accomplishment and community service.
“I would like to visit high school programs with teen parents to motivate them so that they know they can accomplish their goals,” said Nuno, the trustees’ Kenneth Fong Scholar. “I feel like I have something to share that would inspire others.”
The CSU Board of Trustees recognized Nuno and other CSU students at the trustees meeting in Long Beach in September. The students selected for the awards have demonstrated superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need. The scholarship awards range from $6,000 to $12,000. CSU trustee scholars are nominated by their campus president, and each campus selects one scholar.
“Through her commitment to fulfilling her educational goals and passion for serving others, Amanda exemplifies the intent of the CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement,” said CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison. “I know Amanda to be a determined and bright young woman, who will use her education to contribute to the community and realize her dreams.”
Nuno is an undergraduate student at CSUN majoring in cell and molecular biology. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Educational Opportunity Program. During her first year as a member of the honor society, Nuno took part in volunteer and fundraising committees and served as the fundraising chair.
She is also an undergraduate researcher in the National Institutes of Health’s Promoting Opportunities for Diversity in Education and Research program. Nuno’s goal is to earn a doctorate, become a cancer researcher and create a program that helps fund cancer treatment for low-income families.
“My motivation comes from my daughter and my desire to help individuals struggling to pay for cancer treatment,” Nuno said.
For more information about the CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement, please visit calstate.edu/foundation/trusteesawards.