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SBMS Alumna Arielle Lafuente Earns Top Award at U Penn’s Wharton School of Business

Prestigious 2012 Penn Alumni Student of Honor recognizes outstanding acts of leadership and community service

Santa Barbara Middle School alumna Arielle Lafuente is one of five recipients of the 2,250 Wharton School graduates to earn the prestigious 2012 Penn Alumni Student of Honor.

This distinguished honor is awarded to those students enrolled in the notable Wharton School of Business who have demonstrated mentorship and effort through their outstanding acts of leadership and community service.

Some of Lafuente’s distinguished accomplishments during her four years on the University of Pennsylvania campus include serving as president of Wharton’s Ambassadors for incoming students and research fellow for Wharton’s Business Initiative. As executive vice president of the Undergraduate Sports Business Club, Lafuente “executed the Ivy Sports Symposium, which attracted over 80 business luminaries to Wharton to share their insights on the business of sports with over 500 attendees.”

As a mentor in the Wharton School of Business, Lafuente infused a more robust level of giving with her senior class by increasing donations for “Seniors for the Penn Fund.” Lafuente also spurred on a higher level of new alumni interest and commitment in her committee role as co-chair of the “Seniors for Penn.”

Each recipient receives an award with a personalized inscription highlighting the student’s significant community contributions. Words inscribed on Lafuente’s award read: “It’s evident that your unspoken mantra is ‘lead by example.’ You frequently are the first to sign up as an enthusiastic team member, and constantly look for ways to improve processes. You are a fair-minded leader, who would never ask someone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself …”

Lafuente credits her philanthropic spirit, in part, to Santa Barbara Middle School, as it was there that she first learned about the importance of giving back.

“I remember at SBMS one of the messages the school lived by was this quote, ‘Because of them, us. Because of us, them,’” she said. “This phrase has stuck with me and has guided my thinking. What it means is that because of those that have come before us, all things are possible, so we need to make things possible for the next generation.

“SBMS helped me become aware of the contributions others have made for my benefit, and encouraged me to strive for the same kind of real impact.”

Lafuente says she feels proud to have lived this mantra throughout her time at Penn and looks forward to continuing her philanthropic spirit as a guide, both now and in the future.

Lafuente, an economics major, will move to London this fall.

— Sue Carmody is a community outreach coordinator for Santa Barbara Middle School.

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