Vivica Torres is the first recipient of Lock Haven University’s George Floyd Scholarship. A Clarksville, Tennessee, native, she is entering her senior year at LHU as a business administration major with a concentration in management.
Torres was awarded the George Floyd Scholarship not only for her academic achievements, but as a result of her social activism and the diversity-based initiatives that she has been a part of on campus. She is a member of the Black Student Union, Latino Student Association and the Multicultural Activities & Advisory Council.
One of Torres’ proudest accomplishments during her time at LHU came from a group initiative in which she partnered with other members of LHU’s student body to educate minority students about sexually transmitted infections (STIs). What began as a class project, but quickly morphed into a larger initiative in which Torres and other members of her group provided students with the education and resources needed to proactively get tested for STIs and do their part to help keep campus safe.
“At LHU, I am part of a close-knit campus community that has given me the opportunity to have a more personalized academic experience and to make great life-long friends,” Torres said. “I feel like a big fish in a little pond.”
Torres’ time at LHU did not begin without challenges. At the time she enrolled at LHU, Torres was suffering from Spinal Stenosis, a herniated disc, sciatica, and arthritis. Because of her disability associated from these ailments, she spent extended periods of time in the hospital during her freshman year, which led to her ending her first year at LHU with a 1.8 GPA. Since then, she has raised her GPA to a 3.1.
She said that her scholarship has helped to ease her financial burden and given her peace of mind, which in turn has made it easier for her to achieve her academic goals.
“Receiving a scholarship has helped me realize that hard work does pay off and has given me more motivation and encouragement to keep striving for the best,” she said.
Torres wants prospective students to know that the support system she has at LHU has been pivotal in helping her succeed both inside and outside of the classroom. She lauded members of The Haven Family like chemistry professor Dr. Laura Lee, director of diversity, equity & inclusion Kenny Hall, and project manager for enrollment & student affairs Robin Rockey, as being pivotal facilitators of her positive Haven experience.
“Each of them has been a wonderful influence on my success at LHU,” Torres said. “I will cherish and carry their guidance, advice, and wisdom with me for a lifetime.”
Torres’ professional aspirations include, attending a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) for graduate school to earn a degree in entrepreneurial studies. Her future goal is to become a business owner and to invest in other aspiring black entrepreneurs and black-owned businesses.
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Lock Haven University’s main campus is located on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in the scenic mountains of Pennsylvania. The university offers 49 undergraduate majors and certifications with 47 minors and five graduate programs.
LHU is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System, the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas of study. Nearly 520,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.
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