Bourne resident Lena Bevilaqua, who serves as a detectives assistant at the Barnstable Police Department and a police officer at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, has been awarded the $2,000 Geraldine F. Lavin Memorial Scholarship at Suffolk University Sawyer Business School for the 2020-21 academic year.
Scholarship recipients are selected by a Cape Cod alumni board of directors based on a 300-word essay describing how their lives have been impacted by breast cancer personally or in their immediate family. It was established by Cape students in memory of Deanie Lavin, who died after a battle with breast cancer; and in honor of her husband, professor Mike Lavin, who was instrumental in bringing Suffolk programs to the Cape. He died in March.
Ms. Bevilaqua told the story of Zia Caroline, the youngest of her mother’s nine siblings, who fought stage 3 triple-negative breast cancer until her death at 42. “Every family member felt the sadness and pain she was experiencing,” Ms. Bevilaqua said. “When she was in pain, we were all in pain; when she was happy, we all laughed until it hurt.”
Ms. Bevilaqua describes herself as a proud Italian American, devoted wife and mother, and dedicated to public service. She has assisted in organizing Kids Day hosted by the Barnstable Police Department, the Special Olympics Torch Run Cape Cod and Final Leg summer games, the ABC Baby Center Collection, and Operation Juice Box.
The first of her family to go to college, Ms. Bevilaqua has a bachelor’s degree in biology/environmental science and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Boston University. She recently completed a certificate in strategic planning on Cape Cod, and will join Suffolk University’s master’s in public administration degree program this fall.