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Rising Star Award Winner

Presented to an alumna/us 35 years of age or younger who has made an impact in his/her career, community or contributions to Clarke.

Kaveria (Allen) Lezza ’13

Kaveria (Allen) Lezza ’13 is the Founder and CEO of Building Love Amongst Cultures in Lombard, Illinois. The non-profit focuses on building critical competence for individuals and communities while creating the foundation for future aspirations.

Much of her work with Building Love Amongst Cultures is influenced by her personal and professional experiences. Kaveria first became interested in building cultural competencies while she was a student at Clarke, received a scholarship for basketball and simultaneously earning her Bachelor of Science in Biology while serving with the United States Army Reserves. She was instrumental in founding the university’s Black Student Union and served as an advocate for education and inclusion.

A few years after graduation, she was deployed to Afghanistan and the introduction to NATO allies from Italy, Bosnia, and Ghana accelerated her interest in understanding the connections between cultures. This experience plus her education and knowledge of the health and wellness industry influences the community outreach her non-profit leads today. Kaveria is also adding to her skillset and is currently working towards her MD to become a Naturopathic Medical Doctor.

“I apply the BVM core values through Building Love Amongst Cultures. Our events are dedicated to education and inclusivity. We bring about awareness of diverse cultures to the community, hosting interactions many would not have had on their own. We advocate for those who do not have a voice,” Kaveria said. “Receiving this award means that people value and believe in me. This award recognizes my hard work and achievements within my community.”