Volunteers recognized for their work in the community


Photo by Nikolas Kolenich.

Christine Morgan

Alex Mott said everyone has a personal passion about something, and his is working with and inspiring children through volunteering.

Mott, president of Colleges Against Cancer, won senior Student Volunteer of the Year Tuesday for his service in Relay for Life, child development programs and alternative spring break trips.

“I like to work with other people, especially kids,” he said. “I like to give them a way to feel like they mean something to the world. It is a strength everyone has internally, and they just need to find that and make it happen.”

The 2010-2011 Celebration of Service “Making a Difference: Recognizing Kent Staters Who Care” awards ceremony took place Tuesday evening in the Student Center Ballroom. The ceremony recognized the exceptional volunteerism of students, faculty and student organizations.

The keynote speaker, George Garrison, professor of Pan-African studies, said volunteering expands the character of an individual.

“It adds height, breadth and depth to who we are,” Garrison said. “It allows us to reach our optimum potential as human beings. Volunteerism and service are a part of the adhesive force that holds us together as a community.”

Kimberly Jeffery won sophomore Student Volunteer of the Year. She has spent more than 300 hours volunteering at Goodyear Heights Community Church, along with other community events.

Jeffery said she loves the gratifying feeling of volunteering and teaching children about the importance of giving back to their communities.

“I like to volunteer because you don’t have to get rewarded from doing it, but you still have the rewarding feeling from doing it,” Jeffery said. “Even though nobody else might pat you on the back, you get to pat yourself on the back.”

Sara Harper, junior endurance runner and cyclist, won the Most Impactful Service Award for her work with multiple organizations, including Girls with Sole, an initiative that provides athletic programs to young girls.

Harper said each person has a special talent that can be used to help others.

“If you have a skill set or ability, apply it to volunteerism,” Harper said. “I’m a runner and a cyclist. That’s what I love to do, and I found outlets where I can excel in a unique way.”

Amanda Kis, senior volunteer at the Women’s Center, won the Spirit of Service award, which is given to students who engaged in 40 or more hours of community service.

Kis said being kind and helping someone does make a difference. She said she volunteers simply because she can.

“When it comes to spreading awareness about projects from the Women’s Center, it can prevent tragedies,” Kis said. “Volunteering in ways that are preventative can greatly impact people’s lives in ways that they don’t even know, and that means something to me.”

Contact Christine Morgan at [email protected]