Sonoma State University Sophomore and  El Molino graduate  Claudia Sisomphou, a resident of Forestville and a graduate of El Molino High School on Oct. 30 was named Student Volunteer of the Year at the North Bay Business Journal’s Nonprofit Conference and Leadership Awards held at Sonoma State University.

“Compassion is the greatest thingsyou can share with someone,” she said when accepting the award, according to a news release by SSU. “I do hope that by receiving this award, my peers will recognize how valuable and empowering community service really is.”

Sisomphou is the first in her family to attend college. Her mom is from France; her dad from Laos.

She has been volunteering since middle school with groups like  Forestville’s Food for Thought aids food bank and the American Cancer Society. As a high school senior, she participated in a marathon through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program, raising more than $2,000 for the cause.

“She involved volunteering and service as part of her daily life,” said SSU President Ruben Armiñana, introducing her at the conference. “She is one of those people who will break barriers.”

At SSU’s Center for Community Engagement, she’s known as Student Activist in Residence.

She is currently working on a campaign to ban plastic water bottles in Sonoma County.