VIDEO: Rising Star Award Recipient Noreen Lysette Barcena ’05
Every student, teacher, administrator, parent, staff member, and alumnus/a will tell you that the power of community is a centerpiece of their Webb story. This is clearly a guiding principle that Noreen Lysette Barcena ’05 learned as a student at Webb and now practices and exhibits with intention in her professional and personal pursuits.
Community is a major thread that runs through the life of this highly accomplished Vivian Webb alumna. From the time that she was recognized for her senior chapel talk which celebrated the importance of support, caring and fairness in the Webb community, Barcena has committed her life to these practices. As a highly respected immigration lawyer, she serves those whose very shelter and security is most at risk.
In today’s world, when immigrants can face separation from family and deportation, Barcena works tirelessly in a complicated and challenging legal arena, fighting daily for immigration reform. Her work has been noted not just regionally, but nationally. In a New York Times column in 2018, Nicholas Kristoff recognized Barcena’s work, helping to bring these critical issues to a national audience.
The impact that she makes is not only substantial from a legal and policy standpoint, but deeply personal for each member of those communities who are disadvantaged. Sixteen years after her graduation, Barcena has taken the lessons she learned at Webb and is now teaching many others the ultimate importance of community.
Barcena, 2020 recipient of the Young Alumni Rising Star Award, spoke with Alumni Director Laura Wensley about her work, background and what this award means to her.
The Young Alumni Rising Star Award recognizes individuals up to their 15th reunion. Recipients have shown notable achievements in their chosen field, used their success to bring good to their community, and demonstrated a level of engagement with their alma mater.
2014: Stephanie Ho ’04
2015: Micol “Mimi” Issa ’05
2016: Jack Wiese ’06
2017: Jessica Dholakia ’07
2018: Gabe Romero ’08
2019: Pilar Mitchell-Campbell ’04