WENATCHEE - Briana Pardo, a Wenatchee Valley College at Omak alumna, was selected as the WVC nominee for the transforming lives award.

She will be honored at a virtual ceremony by the Washington State Association of College Trustees on Jan. 26, and will receive a $250 award from the association, said a WVC announcement.

Pardo also will be recognized by the WVC Board of Trustees at its virtual board meeting Jan. 20. There, she will receive an additional $250 award from the WVC president and the WVC Foundation.

At WVC at Omak, Pardo completed her associate of technical science in nursing and bachelor of science in nursing. She graduated in 2018 as part of the inaugural BSN class.

While attending WVC at Omak, Pardo’s mother died from cancer and her brother died from a drug overdose. Her father and sister also died while she was a teenager.

“I lost my mom, but I knew she wouldn’t have wanted me to quit,” Pardo wrote in her application. “I graduated in 2018, fulfilling my dream of becoming a registered nurse and completing my BSN. I can now affect change at a systems level, increasing access to care, reducing overdose deaths and changing lives.”

Despite her family losses and being a single mom, Pardo became heavily involved in student government and extracurricular groups, and graduated with a 3.9 grade point average. She received the president’s medal award at graduation in 2018.

The award is given to one student from each of the WVC campuses every year, said the college.

“Currently, I am working as the nurse care manager for the opioid treatment network at Family Health Centers in Omak,” Pardo said. “I have the privilege of working with people who suffer from opioid use disorder.

“When I care for patients, I see someone’s loved one — not cancer, heart disease or substance use. I have community college to thank for my education. There is a world of opportunities in the nursing field and I can’t wait to see where my career takes me.”

ACT created the transforming lives awards program in 2012 to recognize current or former students whose lives have been transformed by pursuing higher education at a community or technical college.

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