On Friday, May 4, Karo Leon-Garcia walked across the stage, earning her diploma and joining the network of more than 100,000 living alumni.
Just one week earlier, the cross country and track star was honored by her peers and by Omaha Athletics with the Dr. John Langan Phoenix Award for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity.
The award recognized Leon-Garcia's commitment to education and her teammates following a military tour of duty that took her from Omaha to Kuwait during her junior year.
Recently, the Columbus Telegram, Leon-Garcia's hometown paper, celebrated her achievements:
By: Scott Akanewich
The Dr. John Langan Phoenix Award is given annually to a student-athlete at the University of Nebraska at Omaha for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity.
Being deployed into a combat zone while wearing the uniform of one’s country certainly falls in that category.
Especially when Uncle Sam’s call pulls a person away from a life filled with academics and athletics and replaces it with a world of death and destruction.
Such was the case for Karo Leon-Garcia, a 2012 Columbus High School alumna who recently graduated from UNO and was honored with the Phoenix Award at the season-ending banquet.
However, along the way during her time as not only a student, but as a member of the Mavericks’ cross country and track squads, she was deployed to Iraq as a military policeman with the 540th Military Police Detachment based in Elkhorn.
Read the full story on the Columbus Telegram's website.
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Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.