UCLA School of Law student Sofia Pedroza ’21 has received the 2020 Skye Donald Spirit of Community Award, which is presented each year to students who demonstrate integrity, generosity and a focus on the well-being of the law school community.
The recognition is UCLA Law’s highest honor for student service to the law school community, and winners receive scholarship funds to support their legal education. A faculty committee reviews nominations from students, professors and staff members before selecting a winner.
Pedroza is a second-year student at UCLA Law, where she serves as an articles editor of the UCLA Law Review and the UCLA Women’s Law Journal. She co-chairs If/When/How: Law Students for Reproductive Justice and devotes substantial time to work as a peer mentor with the Latinx Law Students Association, the Womyn of Color Collective and the Law Fellows Program. A first-generation college graduate, she holds a B.A., summa cum laude, from Cal Poly Pomona and an M.A., magna cum laude, from UC Irvine.
Read more about Pedroza’s experience as a first-gen student.
Pedroza’s nomination received overwhelming support from people across the law school community. Her friends and colleagues cited her “selfless” investment in the welfare and success of her student peers, beginning in the bustle of the 1L year, when many of her classmates regularly sought her out for encouragement.
“In class, she regularly makes critical interventions that push the conversation forward and bring to light voices and perspectives that are not traditionally centered in the law school setting,” said one of her classmates. “Through her involvement in organizations that support students of color and first-generation students, she carves out space for others to feel included and valued, where otherwise we would feel alienated and lost.”
The Skye Donald Spirit of Community Award and associated Skye Donald Memorial Fund honor the memory of UCLA Law lecturer Skye Donald, a beloved teacher and talented lawyer who brought out the best in her students and colleagues before she died of cancer in 2016 at age 43.