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GRANADA HILLS GRAD EXCELLING AT NORTHWESTERN.

Byline: Lisa M. Sodders Staff Writer

Jane Lee knew she wanted more than just a ``fun time'' when she headed off to Northwestern University after graduating from Granada Hills High School.

Four years later, Lee, 21, of Northridge is poised to graduate in June with a resume many people a decade older would envy. Her accomplishments placed her among 20 other outstanding undergraduates on USA Today's first All-USA College Academic Team.

For Lee, it was all about making the most of her education.

``The students on campus are highly motivated, highly enthusiastic and really want to create lasting change, whether it's on campus or in the community,'' Lee said in a recent telephone interview. ``I'm very big on giving back and making that lasting impact.''

She has challenged redistricting plans in the city of Evanston, Ill., where Northwestern University is located. She's also traveled to conferences in China, Sweden and the Czech Republic, all while juggling classes, student government work and sorority activities.

In spring 2003, Lee learned of redistricting plans that would have diluted the concentration of student and African-American voters. She convinced the city council to postpone voting on the issue until students returned in the fall.

Two people who are not surprised by her success are her former high school principal, and former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg, who named her Woman of the Year for his 40th Assembly District in 2001.

At the time, Lee was co-chairman of Hertzberg's San Fernando Valley High School Advisory Commission, student body president at Granada Hills High, varsity cheerleader and valedictorian, and had founded a campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

``I was convinced she was going to do great things,'' Hertzberg said.

Brian Bauer, executive director of Granada Hills Charter High School, had just started as principal in November 2000 when he met Lee.

``I said to myself, This is not only a school leader, this is someone who will make a mark on the world,'' Bauer recalled.

Lee will graduate from Northwestern in June with a double major in political science and legal studies, and a minor in African-American studies. After graduation, she will work as a public sector consultant for Deloitte Consulting in Chicago, working with federal, state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

But she also plans to run for public office, a goal that was inspired to a large degree by working with Hertzberg.

``I want to roll up my sleeves and find out the genuine concerns that people have,'' Lee said.

Lisa M. Sodders, (818) 713-3663

lisa.sodders(at)dailynews.com

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Mar 19, 2005
Words:432
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