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USF's Pedro named a Newman Civic Fellow for work to help orphaned children in Haiti

Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 12:01 am

Fort Wayne native Amanda Pedro, a senior nursing major at University of Saint Francis, has been named a Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact for her efforts to raise money to build the first permanent residential home for orphans at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Orphanage in Haiti.

Campus Compact is a national higher education association that promotes campus-based civic engagement and public and community service, a University of Saint Francis news release said.

Newman Civic Fellows are nominated by college and university presidents to recognize their motivation and ability in public leadership, the news release said. Pedro, a standout player for USF's women's basketball team, was nominated by USF President Sister M. Elise Kriss.

In 2011, Pedro traveled to Haiti with Formula for Life, a student charitable group at USF, the news release said. Since 2009, the group has organized an annual 5K run/walk to raise money to support better nutrition for Haitian children.

After her return, Pedro became a Formula for Life leader, the news release said. Her passion and compassion for children in Haiti inspired people to give generously, and the April 2012 Formula for Life 5K run/walk raised $11,000, the largest total ever.

Pedro, a faculty adviser and another student delivered the money to the orphanage, the news release said. While there, the priest managing the orphanage explained how their current rental facility doesn't allow them to accommodate all the children brought there, forcing them to turn some away. He hoped some day the orphanage could build its own permanent housing on about 15 acres of land.

Pedro dedicated herself to helping raise money and supplies to construct a permanent orphanage building, the news release said. Within six months, she and other Formula for Life members raised more than $75,000 in funds and in-kind construction donations.

“Amanda is an excellent student, a talented athlete and true campus leader,” Kriss said in the news release. “She communicated the orphans' plight, reminded us of our blessings and created the momentum for a campaign to build an earthquake- and hurricane-resistant home for those children.

“Asked about her role in the orphanage project following graduation, she replied, 'You know — I'm not done yet,'” Kriss said.

For more about the orphanage building project or to make a donation, contact Amy Obringer at aobringer@sf.edu.