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Homecoming 2007 Honors Alumna With 'Rising Star' Award

Oct. 31, 2007 -- Lincoln Heights resident Erika Gallo was honored with the "Rising Star" alumna award in October by Mount Saint Mary’s University for outstanding work in her community and in her professional life since graduating from the college in 2001.

Gallo started her political career when she was 14, organizing graffiti cleanups in her Lincoln Heights neighborhood and volunteering as a youth member for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). In 2006, she was elected to fill one of seven vacant seats on the Central Committee of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. Also in 2006, Gallo was named Woman of the Year in her 45th state assembly district.

Gallo said her remarkable rise from neighborhood volunteer to up-and-comer in county and state politics was made possible at Mount Saint Mary’s University, where she learned to be a strong leader and focus on her goals. She is the first in her family to attend college, and is passionate about turning the Lincoln Heights area into a thriving community. Gallo also has been an altar server at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral for more than three years.

"At Mount St. Mary's, you really are empowered as a woman. You get this power and this motivation to want to do more—and want to better not only your life but the lives of others," said Gallo. She received the award at the college's Chalon Campus in Brentwood during an annual homecoming celebration. Also honored during a ceremony was Burbank resident Mary Ershoen Morris, class of 1962, with the "Outstanding Alumna for Professional Achievement Award."

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