SANTA MARIA, Calif. -

A Santa Maria woman was honored at the White House on Tuesday for showing exceptional leadership in her community.

Anahi Mendoza was presented with the Champions of Change Award for her role in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival Program, also known as DACA.

Mendoza was born in Mexico and is a rising senior at Harvard University studying social studies with a focus field in U.S. immigration policy and social change.  

Her passion for immigration reform began in high school when she founded a Dream Club to help undocumented students apply for college.  At Harvard, she has served as the director of Act on a Dream, a student organization pushing for comprehensive immigration reform and providing resources to undocumented students at the college and throughout the nation.