Those who were invited were students who accumulated 50 hours or more in service hours in the course of a year.
“Thank you for being a part of leadership of service,” says Vice President of Student Affairs Janice Murray-Laury, “through your work [other] students understand and learn how to work as a team, and they learn how to become problem solvers and students who were shy become more involved.”
Those who have been awarded went to service events such as Habitat for Humanity, Community Food Bank, Atria Senior Living, Raphael’s Life House, Alternative Spring Break and Pediatric Mobile Food Pantry. Alternative Spring Break is a yearly event that happens during spring break where a number of students go to areas of New Jersey that were affected by Super Storm Sandy and help rebuild homes. Unlike Alternative Spring Break, whereas events like New Jersey Community Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity and Pediatric Mobile Food Pantry occurs every month.
“As a volunteer, you are saying that you are equally concerned about the people beneath you as you are the folks that stand by you,” says the Managing Assistant Director for Community Service and Civic Engagement Susan Figueroa. She continues to say that the Service Award Breakfast is a rare event and that the students who attended “represent everything at [Kean University].”
Students were recognized for taken a part of Alternative Spring Break this year. Also, students were awarded for doing 50 hours, 75 hours and 100 or more hours in a year. Those who served more than 100 hours a year were awarded with the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA). Those who were awarded PVSA also received a pin, a medallion and a signed certificate from President Barack Obama. One student, Michael Gonzalez, who is a freshman majoring in biology, won Volunteer of The Year Award for serving over 180 hours.
Closing remarks was done by Scott Snowden, the Director of CLS. He says that serving “doesn’t end when you leave Kean [University]. It will continue with you. I want you to know that we genuinely appreciate what you do.”
CLS is committed to help students become more involved on and off campus. Every spring and fall semester, students, groups, alumni and organizations have the opportunity to get their hands dirty while helping the surrounding community. To learn more about CLS, the events it hosts and more, visit its page on the Kean University website.