2007 Young Alumni Service AwardLana Fuentes-Krummen '01
How many SNC Alumni entered the College, planning to major in one field and then, as a result of taking a course in a totally different area, changing the whole direction of their education, career, and life?
Lana Fuentes-Krummen intended to study English literature, but Religious Studies and Peace & Justice coursed helped her realize that “Jesus’ first priority was for the poor and the vulnerable of society.” Learning about charity and justice led her to become increasingly involved in faith-related activities with a social justice orientation.
What followed was her immersion in peace and justice work both on campus and in the community: helping SNC students through the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s worship, praise, and Scriptural study; teaching 7th grade religious education classes at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in De Pere; volunteering for the Diocese of Green Bay Refugee, Migration, and Hispanic Services where she helped develop a citizenship curriculum; helping develop the Peace and Justice Minor at SNC; planning a campus program to foster awareness of social action regarding poverty; and, with Old St. Joseph Parish Council and Peace & Social Justice Commission, planning for involvement in social issues. In addition, Lana participated in numerous conferences and service trips, within the U.S., Ecuador, and Mexico.
In 2001, Lana graduated Summa Cum Laude and as a graduate of the Honors Program, with a major in Religious Studies, and minor in Spanish and in Peace & Justice. While a student at SNC, Lana received many awards, including: Distinguished Scholastic Achievement, Wisconsin Academic Scholar, St. Norbert College Trustee Scholar, and the William J. O’Callaghan Award in the Arts and Sciences.
Shortly after graduation, Lana moved to Georgia, where she immediately began working for the local Catholic Charities office, providing advocacy information, and referral services for social issues and health-related education to Latino immigrants. Five months later, she became the Center Director for the Gainesville office of Catholic Charities, a position she continues to hold. Her office serves the entire low-income community, but specifically provides counseling, immigration legal services, information and referral, and education services to a large and growing Latino population.
As Director, Lana has developed a health project that promotes access for low-income and uninsured persons to health services and preventive education, and a Parent-School Partnership Program to train immigrant parents to help their children attain higher education achievement.
Helping the less fortunate is more than a job for Lana who, among other activities, also volunteers her time and talents on her local United Way Board of Directors, and as a Northeast Georgia representative on the Georgia Latino Forum Board of Directors. Previously, she volunteered her services to the Alliance for Literacy, Sojourner’s House that help homeless women, and the Indigent Care Education Initiative.
And, this all began at St. Norbert College!
Lana currently lives in Georgia with her husband, Jose Fuentes, and their two-year old daughter, Carmen. Her most important personal goal is to “love my family and contribute to their well-being.” Professionally, she would like to earn a master’s degree and work to create changes in society that address inequalities and discrimination.