Elizabeth Cabral, Salem State class of 2017, gathered along with 28 fellow Massachusetts students at the State House in Boston on May 5 for the 29 Who Shine award ceremony which honors one student from each of the 29 public higher education institutions.
Cabral, along with her fellow honorees, was chosen for her academic achievements and record of student leadership and community service. Those chosen for 29 Who Shine plan to contribute greatly to the state community following graduation, whether through pursuing a career or continuing education.
“The 29 Who Shine honorees are exceptional student leaders who saw a way to improve something and acted on it, and for that we are grateful. They are a credit to the colleges and universities they attend. We are proud of their contributions to their communities and the Commonwealth,” Education Secretary James Peyser said.
Striving to be a lawyer, Cabral has been active in various social justice causes around campus. As the student trustee on the 2016-2017 Salem State University Board of Trustees representing over 7,000 of her peers, Cabral moved the board to support the divestment from fossil fuels and to make diversity, equality, and inclusion a priority at the university. She was a member of the Student Government Association, serving a one-year term as vice-president, as well as a member of the Black, Brown, and Proud Movement on campus.
“Working with Elizabeth over the past year on the Board of Trustees has been a wonderful experience, and I have been delighted to see her learn and grow throughout the process. She is making a difference in her community and exemplifies the Salem State graduate. She is prepared to launch a promising career ahead and continue her commitment to social justice,” President Patricia Maguire Meservey said.
Over her academic career, Cabral has held internships with the Malden District Courthouse, Department of Youth Services, the American Civil Liberties Union, and, in the summer of 2016, with Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, beginning her career fighting for civil liberties.
Faculty member mentors are chosen by the student winners and were honored at the ceremony, as well. Cabral chose Jennifer Jackman, of the political science department, as her mentor, citing the impact she has had on Cabral’s academic success.
“Through her impeccable career and all of the things that she has accomplished, she has taught me that anything is possible. No matter what I did apply for she was always in my corner rooting me on and there to talk to me about anything and offer me advice whenever I needed it. She will be my lifelong mentor and is the reason for my success,” Cabral said of Jackman.