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Paris attack victim Nohemi Gonzalez's family, college mourns loss

As the world learns more about the victims of Friday's Paris attacks, one name is bringing the tragedy close to home in Southern California — Nohemi Gonzalez.

Those close to Gonzalez simply called her Mimi.

The 23-year-old California University State, Long Beach design major was in Paris for a foreign exchange program. Her aunt, Sandra Felt, said she was fulfilling a dream, and that the college junior always wanted to learn French.

"She was very much of a go-getter," Felt told NBC's Blake McCoy for TODAY Sunday. "Everything she wanted to do, she went after it ... She found a way of getting it done."

Courtesy Nohemi Gonzalez family via Facebook

Gonzalez's mother, Beatriz Gonzalez, told NBC: "She wanted to have a career and a family."

That determination was shattered when a gunman burst into the restaurant Gonzalez was eating at in Paris Friday. She was shot in the stomach — and killed. Gonzalez is the first U.S. citizen identified as a victim of the attacks.

At Cal State, Gonzalez's school, classmates are paying tribute and the basketball team held a moment of silence before Saturday night's game.

"I and the entire campus are heartbroken," Jane Close Conoley, CSULB president, said.

John Fajardo / LBSU Athletics

On Sunday afternoon, the university will host a candlelight vigil to mourn the passing of Gonzalez and the other victims of the attack. And for the time being, the school's website is dark, except for a single light for Gonzalez.

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