Students Receive Birmingham Award
Junior Childhood and Special Education major Emily Smith and sophomore Management major Jacketta Collins can now add the 2014-2015 Ann B. & Martin F. Birmingham Student Volunteer Recognition Award to their résumés after receiving the award on Tuesday, April 29.
The annual award is given to students who demonstrate excellence as a volunteer, either on campus or in the community. The recipients receive $5,000 in tuition assistance, a $1,000 honorarium, and a framed certificate of achievement.
Smith has been involved in service work at Fisher since her freshman year through Students With a Vision (SWAV), serving as the club’s fundraising coordinator, treasurer, secretary, and president. Her nominator cited many projects that she impacted through SWAV, including the Valentine’s Day candy sale, Project Community Convergence, and a fall leaf raking fundraiser. She was also involved in the club’s MATT-O-Ween and Sweetheart Ball, among other things, and was on the SWAV team at the Relay for Life. As SWAV’s secretary, she is responsible for the administrative functions of the club including preparing for meetings, recording minutes, and keeping track of student volunteer hours. Her commitment to SWAV has impacted the Fisher campus along with the Rochester community.
In addition to her work with SWAV, Smith has served as a Freshman Orientation Leader and will travel to Kingston, Jamaica this May with the Fisher JASY (Jamaican Advantage through Sports for Youth) trip. At home, she has volunteered as a bible school teacher at the Zion Covenant Church Vacation Bible School and participated in the Cystic Fibrosis Walk-A-Thon “every year since birth” on behalf of her sister who suffers from the disease.
Collins is a Bronx native and a sophomore Management major. Her passion for service started when she worked for Camp AmeriKids, a summer camp for inner city children where she herself spent many childhood summers. Once she was old enough, she participated in the Camp’s Leader-in-Training Program which helps build leadership and communication skills in teens. She then served as a volunteer counselor for four summers working with girls between the ages of 8 and 12, some of whom suffered from HIV/AIDS or sickle cell anemia.
She has also served as an assistant event coordinator for “Grandparents Around the World,” which connects young people with the elderly. And she was a youth mentor at the Bronx Lebanon Hospital where she worked with and counseled at-risk teens and helping to encourage healthy lifestyles.
The three other finalists honored at the event were: Ryan Dalton ’15, a Psychology major and Biology minor; Olivia Gosdeck ’15, Management major; and Alexander Melville ’15, a Sport Management major.
The Ann B. & Martin F. Birmingham Student Volunteer Recognition Award was established in 1990, thanks to a generous gift to the College from Mr. and Mrs. Birmingham. Since then, 31 students have been recognized and rewarded for their charitable service to others. Through their personal example of volunteerism, Ann and the late Martin F. Birmingham embody one of the basic tenets of the College's mission—service to others.