Maurice Cyr, Bristol Community College
Maurice’s dedication to Civic Engagement and helping those in need is admirable. He helps stock local food pantries, he organizes drives for warm winter clothing, he tutors his fellow students, and he raises funds for other worthy projects and charities throughout the year. His studies in Paralegal will afford him the opportunity to continue assisting low-income residents of our community. Maurice is an inspiring college student leader who has demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing our community such as hunger and food insecurity in our service area.
Christopher Hantman, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA)
Christopher Hantman, a junior at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, is deeply committed to improving the condition and quality of life for others. Christopher currently serves as co-coordinator of The Write Stuff, a successful mentoring, writing and college access program that matches college mentors with local youth. Through his position as president of the MCLA InterGreek Council and a leader of his fraternity, Christopher has galvanized his organization to collaborate with and serve the larger community by developing partnerships with multiple agencies to address pressing social issues. They work with local schools to provide afterschool academic and enrichment support to youth; collaborate with MCLA’s Wellness Center and Counseling Services on suicide prevention workshops; support MCLA’s alcohol education program; and sponsor a Public Safety fire prevention program. Christopher has helped guide incoming students transition to college as a staff member for the LEAD Academy program, a leadership and college preparation program. Christopher dedicates time at the Horace Mann Educational Associates, a center for adults with mental and behavioral disabilities. There is no doubt that as Christopher enters his senior year and post graduation, he will continue to advocate for and improve the condition of others.
Kia Burton McLaughlin, Greenfield Community College
Kia Burton McLaughlin is in her second full year at Greenfield Community College. Kia has been a very active member of the GCC community, role model and leader and is an excellent student academically. Kia has contributed to the community by serving as a member of student senate, orientation leader, member of the campus diversity committee and participates in the Students in Recovery and their allies club. Kia also served as a summer associate last summer through the Massachusetts Campus Compact program. She provided counsel and programming for women who faced significant obstacles accessing higher education. Currently Kia serves as a peer mentor in our student success class funded by a grant from the Western Women’s Fund and populated by the group previously referenced. Kia has close connections with campus administrators, faculty, staff and our community partners. Kia has formed and nurtured relationships with agencies such as Montague Catholic Social Services, The Recover Project and Center for New Americans. She was instrumental in the securing of gathering space for students in recovery. Kia is respected and well known throughout the community for her ability to mentor, advise, serve as a role model and build connections. She understands the role of a community college and maintains her success while raising two children. Kia is in integral part of our community and a gifted leader.
Savannah Reardon, Bay Path College
Savannah Reardon, a junior at Bay Path College, has a passion for instilling confidence with those she works with through her anti-bullying campaign, Just the Way You Are. Her motivation for sustainable change is evident in this yearly event that she organizes and funds each year on campus as well as in local schools. A part of her program includes empowerment and anti-bullying workshops in area schools in which she facilitates. In addition to her anti-bullying campaign she is a Resident Assistant, a Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentor, Orientation Leader, and Junior Class Delegate. She is highly active and it shows that she is truly an agent for sustainable, positive change on her campus and in her community. Savannah continues to have bold plans and would like to turn her campaign into a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Shaza Alzaim, University of Massachusetts Boston
Shaza Alzaim, a junior in the Honors Program and a political science and philosophy double major at the University of Massachusetts Boston, is passionate about approaching root causes of social inequities through policy change and legal aid. She has focused on health care and education issues in many political and community capacities because of her belief that these are universal rights affecting all people. Shaza’s consistent commitment has flourished through her initial volunteer work with Best Buddies, and onto several internships at the Mayor’s Office in Braintree, the Massachusetts State House, and in the Office of former Senator John Kerry. Perhaps the most courageous civic commitment that Shaza made was to run for school committee in Braintree in 2011. She also believes that a strong academic record obligates one to serve the needs of others, organizing a group to participate in American Cancer Society’s fundraisers, and most recently establishing a group of honors students to fundraise for and participate in a local Hospice Walk. Grounded in her belief that any person can make change happen, Shaza will undoubtedly carry this into her career in politics or law and find significant ways to contribute to solving society’s most pressing problems.
Jillian Funk, Springfield College
Jillian Funk is a junior majoring in Youth Development with a minor in Coaching and Business Management. In her first year as a Springfield College student, Jillian became the site leader for the Elias Brookings School BLAST Program and continues to serve in this capacity. The Elias Brookings School was identified in 2010 as a Level 4 school. A Level 4 school is an “under-performing” school and is low performing on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) over a four-year period in English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics, and Science. The BLAST after-school program was created in an effort to help students in grades three through five to provide tutoring and mentoring services. Jillian played an important role in helping these students score significantly higher on the state standardized tests in her first year as site leader and her impressive work continues. As site leader for this program, she is responsible for mentoring and tutoring students as well as supervising other Springfield College volunteers by helping them to create daily activities and schedules for the program. Jillian has been blessed with a wonderful gift of being able to reach our youth for positive results.
Lewis Morris, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Lewis Morris is a junior in the Studio for Interrelated Media (SIM) at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Lewis has combined his artistic practice, his work as a mentor and educator, and his desire to be an engaged citizen into many initiatives in the college community and beyond. As a deeply invested connector of people, ideas, and resources, Lewis is a civic leader among his peers. He is the founder of The Official MassArt Poetry Alliance and he organizes dynamic and well-attended spoken word poetry events on and off campus. Through MassArt’s Center for Art and Community Partnerships (CACP), Lewis has been involved for several years in various programs that work to advance the Center’s mission to cultivate innovative, sustainable relationships with the broader community to explore and expand the relevance of art in public life. He has brought his passion for spoken word poetry to his work with CACP’s “sparc! the ArtMobile” and mentoring and collaborating with teens from several organizations in the Mission Hill and Roxbury neighborhoods. Lewis makes significant contributions to the communities he lives and works in, and truly embodies the role of a citizen artist.
Bryan Sanderson, Mount Wachusett Community College
Bryan Sanderson, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, is a second year student at Mount Wachusett Community College. As a student who is deeply involved in many facets of community both within the college walls and beyond, Bryan was deeply struck by number of students who do not complete their degree due to the outside circumstances that occur in life. Bryan developed and proposed a concept for peer students to assist in connecting students in need with outside resources for housing, food, child care, transportation and other vital needs as a means to directly addressing the retention issue for his fellow community college students. This proposal has been implemented in the form of the Students Serving Our Students Office. Serving more than 125 students in the first four weeks of the spring semester, Bryan has spearheaded a call to action for his fellow students to help others achieve their goals and not let outside challenges deter them.
Kristen Bailey, Stonehill College
Kristen Bailey, a Sociology major at Stonehill College, has been involved in a variety of projects including leading the Moore Center for Gender Equity and organizing the New England Womens Center Conference at the college, as well as setting a new standard of excellence as a MACC*AmeriCorps summer associate working with both the Community Connections of Brockton and the Cape Verdean Association’s summer youth program. Kristen brings a deep social commitment, keen intellectual insight and a dogged pursuit of fairness and justice to bear on all of her work. She has also been a teaching assistant for Sociology and Gender Studies courses and worked tirelessly to organize events in the community such as the South Shore Parent Leadership Conference as well as the Annual Women’s Leadership Summit on campus. Integrating an intellectual curiosity and social awareness with a deeply held spiritual commitment and moral guide, Kristen is the very model of what we hope a Stonehill graduate will be.