Finger Lakes Community College student Gabrielle Young of Shortsville has received the 2020 Norman R. McConney Jr. Award, an honor that recognizes excellence among participants in the State University of New York Educational Opportunity Program.
SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras congratulated Young and other students from across New York in December.
The award bears the name of the late Norman McConney, one of the architects of the statewide Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), which provides financial assistance and support to those who face obstacles in achieving their educational and personal goals.
Young is majoring in childhood education with plans to become a K-5 teacher. She was a lead teacher at Our Children’s Place Child Care Center in Canandaigua from August 2019 to March 2020 and has volunteered at the Catholic Charities food pantry. She is currently working as a nanny, including managing virtual learning for the children in her care.
Lisa Thomas, director of the Educational Opportunity Program at FLCC, nominated Young for overcoming obstacles early in life.
“Gabrielle is such a wonderful young woman. She has such a positive and upbeat attitude regardless of what she has had to face in life,” Thomas wrote. “Coming from a broken home, Gabrielle has experienced a lot of trauma and dealt with anxiety and depression for years but has not let it define her. She wants to be a role model and lead by example, making sure that others know that they, too, can persevere no matter what challenges life may present.”