State lawmakers honored dozens of exceptional college students from across Massachusetts on Friday. 

At the 9th annual 29 Who Shine Awards, Governor Charlie Baker recognized 29 students, from each of the state’s public colleges for the hard work they’ve put in to get an education. Many of the students had to overcome hardships just to obtain a degree. 

“I experienced war at the age of six until the age of 14, I had to escape to Egypt where I finished my high school and then we settled here as refugees in the U.S., Massachusetts specifically,”  Adam Abdelrahman said. “I learned English at Holyoke Community College.” 

While going to school, many of these students started businesses, raised families and volunteered on their campuses and in their communities.

“I  also tried giving back to my community by developing the HOPE Project, which is a project that aims at supporting the homeless through donation drives, food drives, volunteering at soup kitchens and things like that,” Jessica Ulloa said. 

The 29 students honored today thanked their teachers, parents, and mentors for believing in their dreams all along.

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