San Benito High School graduate Alexandra Gallo was awarded the President's Medal at the 2017 California State University, Fresno commencement on May 20 at the Save Mart Center.
Gallo, of Hollister, completed a bachelor of arts degree in political science and a B.A. in communication, with a GPA of 3.81.
According to a press release from Fresno State, difficult family circumstances inspired Gallo, a first-generation college student, to obtain a degree and help others.
"Gallo seized opportunities to serve and engage during her time at Fresno State," the release said. "She studied abroad, was elected to student government, served as an ambassador for the Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning, was as a Maddy intern with Congressman Jim Costa and worked with the League of Woman Voters."
Gallo, a Baler 2013 graduate, was a three-time winner of the President’s Volunteer Service Award for completing 200 hours of service each year at organizations such as the Every Neighborhood Partnership and the Ronald McDonald House. She also planned a camp for children with parents battling cancer.
“The College of Social Science has taught me how to be a critical thinker, and how to apply leadership and theories to governmental agencies, jobs and community service work,” she said. After graduation, Gallo will intern in Washington, D.C., with Congressman Costa before applying to law school.
To read a Fresno Bee story about the commencement that includes more information about Gallo, click here.