The Friedman School is pleased to announce this year’s student Commencement speaker! Alejandra Cabrera, MS candidate in the Nutrition Interventions, Communication, and Behavior Change program, will be addressing the graduates on Sunday, May 20th.
Alejandra left her roots in Miami to complete a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Boston College with minors in History and Economics. Prior to coming to Friedman, she explored diverse food system opportunities in Massachusetts, including an analysis of financial records in an agricultural social investment fund, apprenticing on a commercial organic farm, and developing food and fitness-based programming in urban schools. Most notably, she co-founded the Green Dragons, a program in Lowell, Massachusetts that engages urban youth in fitness and nutrition through martial arts, gardening education, and academic support. These experiences taught her the power of community-academic partnerships and the importance of doing both on-the-ground and academic work.
While completing her master’s degree in Nutrition Interventions, Communication, and Behavior Change as an Ellen H. Block Scholar, Alejandra continued her leadership at the Green Dragons while being actively involved in the Friedman community. Under the direction of Dr. Sara Folta and Dr. Linda Hudson, Alejandra worked as an Assessment Lead for Healthy Hearts for an Abundant Life, a pilot nutrition and fitness intervention study to address heart health disparities in older, African American women. As a co-chair of the Friedman Justice League, she worked with other student leaders to facilitate dialogues with students, faculty and staff about the importance of incorporating social justice in the classroom and create a summer internship scholarship for a student working directly with a community in need. Additionally, she served as a graduate student representative for the school’s first Committee on Social Justice, Inclusion and Diversity and was recently inducted into Friedman’s Honos Civicus Society.
After graduation, Alejandra will be teaching middle school science while continuing to lead the Green Dragons in Lowell, with the hope of fostering community-wide engagement in nutrition and food justice.