Wilton college graduate makes a mark in Florida

Andrea Prospect, a Wilton High School graduate in 2016, was presented with two prestigious awards upon her graduation from the University of South Florida on Aug. 3.

She was named the South Florida Alumni Association’s Outstanding Graduate for summer 2019 and she received the King O’Neal Scholar Award.

Prosspect earned her bachelor of science degree in public health, with a minor in behavioral health care, in three years with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. That achievement earned her the scholar award.

In addition to her coursework, Prospect undertook five internships, two study abroad terms and volunteer work — all of which led to her recognition by the alumni association which each year picks one summer graduate who exhibits “exceptional leadership, school spirit, academic excellence, community involvement, and a love for the university.”

Prospect, who described herself as an average high school student, told the university’s College of Public Health News “My drive accelerated upon realizing my capacity to make a difference. It was hard work and stressful at times, but I simply loved what I was learning.”

Of her internships, three introduced her to under-served populations confronting different challenges and two taught her aspects of the financial and policy-making sides of public health.

“Vulnerable groups, particularly those with mental and behavioral health disorders and families with lower socioeconomic status, are often not allowed a voice,” she said. “Having worked with Operation Smile, the Special Olympics, foster care and other organizations representing vulnerable groups, my passion to be a voice and advocate for them affirmed my place in the public health arena.”

Her volunteer work included distributing water filters in El Salvador.

On campus, Prospect planned welcome events for new students at the start of the school year and mentored freshmen through Cru at USF, a faith-based student organization.