In recognition of her personal character, altruism, volunteer service and giving of herself to the campus and the larger community, Buffalo State College has bestowed Cruz with the 2007 Minnie and Joe Engel Student Humanitarian Award.
Cruz, who came to the United States in 1999, describes her life in Africa as "very poor and very difficult." Because her high school teacher and Buffalo State College believed in her, Ms. Cruz says that she has turned her life around -- but she does not forget her roots or the people who are struggling the way she did.
Cruz serves as an advocate for Crisis Services and as a mentor for Jericho Road Ministries, helping refugees resettle in Western New York. She has served Buffalo State as President of the Moore Complex Hall Council, as Treasurer of the S.P.I.R.I.T Gospel Choir, as a note taker through the Disability Services offices and as an Evergreen volunteer.
Through all this service, Cruz maintains a 3.22 GPA as a Health and Wellness major, mothers her four-year-old daughter and works for M&T Bank. Cruz will graduate next year. She is a 2007 Who's Who Among Students Award Recipient and a member of Chi Alpha Epsilon.