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Recipients of 2021 Dawn D. Bennett-Alexander Scholarship announced

Athens, Ga. – Lytzy Hernandez, a second-year exercise and sports science student from Dahlonega and Bryson Henriott, a second-year political science and public relations student from Vidalia have been named the 2021 recipients of the Dawn D. Bennett-Alexander Building Bridges Scholarship at the University of Georgia. The scholarship is awarded annually to students who exhibit excellence in their commitment to diversity and inclusion efforts on campus.

Lytzy Hernandez

Lytzy Hernandez plans to graduate in May 2023 with a bachelor of science degree in exercise and sports science. She is an aspiring occupational therapist and is also pursuing a minor in Spanish and a certificate in disabilities studies.

An active advocate for building bridges for underserved communities and promoting on-campus opportunities for students, Hernandez has participated in a broad range of activities in her first two years at UGA. As a member of the Georgia Recruitment Team, she has participated in local and national student panels targeting Hispanic, first-generation, and rural students. She has also served as a Dean of Students Ambassador, hosting events designed to help first-year students acclimate to life on campus.

Hernandez also works with Destination Dawgs, a cohort program that helps people with disabilities build independent living and career development skills. She is currently exploring ways to increase funding for the organization to allow expansion.

Her other campus involvement includes roles with Latinos Invested in the Students of Tomorrow (LISTo), First-Gen Dawgs, the Hispanic Student Association, the Minority Student Association, TRIO Student Support Services, Global Buddy Program, and Extra Special People.

“As an ally for each and every one of these communities, I am fully committed to doing my best to push for the changes needed to achieve basic human needs,” she said. “We all have our differences, but we can all stand together for change.”

Bryson Henriott

Bryson Henriott, who also intends to graduate in May 2023 with bachelor’s degrees in political science and public relations, is also pursuing minors in applied politics and personal and organizational leadership. A first-generation student from a rural community, he has become an advocate for students of similar backgrounds through his involvement and leadership.

As a member of the student organization RISE (Rural Students Igniting Success in Education), Henriott has worked to create a strategy that would provide valuable campus information to rural students. As current president of the organization, he has secured grant money, created a multi-year contingency plan for the organization, and appointed a more diverse executive board. He has also worked with the campus-wide Diversity and Inclusive Excellence program to create a comprehensive communications plan for reaching out to rural students.

“I hope that my work on advancing rural success at UGA will have a lasting impact for the many rural students who feel disconnected from the university,” he said. “I hope this further leads to an increase in applications from rural areas to expand access to education and to help increase the livelihoods and economies of rural areas throughout Georgia.”

Henriott’s other campus involvement includes serving as deputy chief of staff for the Student Government Association, engagement committee member for Extra Special People, UGA Digital Dawg social media ambassador, and Involvement Ambassador in Engagement, Leadership, and Service. He has also been named a New Student Orientation Leader for 2021-2022.

Administered through the Engagement, Leadership, and Service department within UGA Student Affairs, the Building Bridges Scholarship was established in 2016 by Bennett-Alexander, a longtime associate professor of Employment Law & Legal Studies in the Terry College of Business. Bennett-Alexander funded the scholarship with a cash prize she had received when she won a prestigious national award recognizing her for inspiring students to make significant contributions to society.

Contact: Lori Crawford, 706-542-6396, lori.crawford@uga.edu

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