Andrew Aboujaoude, a senior in the College of Medicine and the Burnett Honors College who is studying biomedical sciences, has been awarded the Newman Civic Fellowship Award for 2017.

The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes community-committed students from Campus Compact member institutions.

“I am super excited to be representing my school at an international level,” said Andrew. “I will always do whatever I can to give back to my school, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to bring national recognition to UCF.”

Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides learning opportunities focused on the skills fellows need in order to serve as effective agents of change in addressing public problems and building equitable communities.

“The Newman’s Civic Engagement Scholarship will provide me with fellowship mentoring which will help me forge connections with those in the industry in the area,” explained Andrew, “plus potentially be exposed to innovative technology through these mentors that could further impact the homeless community and help those who don’t have the resources to help themselves.”

Andrew, with co-founders Jennifer Cavel and Alexis Ghirsey, created a non-profit called Hearts for the Homeless Orlando which aims to help the well-being of the homeless through free blood pressure screening opportunities, general health education and partnerships with clinics around Orlando.

Many people who have been impacted by their non-profit have lowered their blood pressure numbers over time, have improved their diet and started exercising. “I believe that we have been able to change at least a few people’s lives through our non-profit,” said Andrew. It’s also an excellent new leadership opportunity for students.

“This was really nothing about a year ago. I really hold those who were there when this just started out as an idea very near and dear to my heart,” explained Andrew. “Thank you Dr. Stacy Malaret for providing mentorship to make this non-profit a tremendous success, and Amy Zeh, Director of Experiential Learning, for helping me learn about the issues at hand and helping me implement something that could really change our community.”