Priscila Ortega of Amagansett, who graduated in December from the State University at Old Westbury, has received the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence from SUNY. It is an honor given to 213 students across the entire state university system of more than 415,000 students.
The award was created “to recognize students who have best demonstrated . . . the integration of academic excellence with accomplishments in the areas of leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts, or career achievement.” Ms. Ortega was an honors college student majoring in politics, economics, and law. As an activist who speaks out on behalf of the immigrant community, she was a founder of the Undocumented Student Alliance at Old Westbury and a member of the student government, Alianza Latina, and Omicron Delta Kappa Student Leadership Honor Society.
“I’m very honored and I’m very humbled, and thankful that everything I did is being recognized,” she said. “I didn’t do it for that reason, so it’s really nice to see that it is being seen for more than what I thought it was going to be. I was doing it because it is my passion.”
The first in her family to graduate from college, Ms. Ortega is now working as an administrative assistant for the East End nonprofit group i-Tri, of which she herself is an alumna.