DANVILLE, Va. (April 10, 2019) – Averett University today announced that it is the recipient of a 2019 Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Award. Presented by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam yesterday evening during a special ceremony held at the Executive Mansion, these awards spotlight the outstanding efforts individual volunteers and organizations make on behalf of citizens throughout the Commonwealth.
“I am honored to announce this year’s Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Award recipients,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “These incredible individuals, organizations and companies are an inspiration to all of us for how we can make a difference in our communities. We thank them for their commitment to service and their determination to make Virginia stronger, healthier and happier.”
Averett was honored in the Outstanding Education Organization category, one of nine recipients from across the Commonwealth to receive recognition in their respective categories. Averett was selected for its role in the Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness (CCECC), which serves as an innovative program pairing volunteers from Averett, Danville Community College and Piedmont Community College with local organizations throughout the Dan River Region. Additionally, “service opportunities offered through the Averett Athletics program, AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA foster a culture of volunteerism as a model for other universities to create a common expectation and opportunity for more young Americans to serve their communities and country,” according to the Governor’s news release.
The CCECC at Averett University is the regional hub for linking students, faculty and staff with community partners to create distinctive learning experiences and career opportunities, as well as to strengthen the social and economic vitality of the region. The CCECC puts Averett’s mission of preparing students to serve and lead as catalysts for positive change into action by focusing on three areas: (1) experiential learning, including service-learning, internships and studies abroad; (2) community and civic initiatives, including volunteerism, the National Bonner Leader Program and national service; and (3) career competitiveness, in which all Averett students benefit from a comprehensive career development program beginning in their first semester. By making intentional and meaningful connections among these focus areas, Averett strives to provide its students with access to resources and networks in the Dan River Region and beyond, all while contributing to the community it serves.
“To receive this distinguished recognition from Governor Northam is humbling and truly an honor,” said Averett University President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks. “Averett is the Hometown University to the Dan River Region. Community service is woven into our DNA, and we are truly committed to helping our students and employees make a lasting impact on the region through their service.”
The awards ceremony was organized by the Office on Volunteerism and Community Services, in partnership with the Governor’s Advisory Board on Service and Volunteerism and the Virginia Service Foundation. These organizations are charged by the Governor with recognizing Virginians who have significantly contributed to the life and welfare of the Commonwealth and its citizens.
The Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Awards are presented by the Governor’s Advisory Board on Service and Volunteerism and Virginia Department of Social Services’ Office on Volunteerism and Community Service on behalf of the Office of the Governor. These awards have recognized exceptional volunteer service in Virginia for more than 20 years.
Virginia Department of Social Services Commissioner Duke Storen congratulated this year’s winners saying, “Volunteers build strong communities and have a lasting impact on the areas they serve. For the families and individuals in need of assistance and support, these individuals and organizations are changing their lives for the better.”
“More than two million Virginians volunteer in communities across the Commonwealth each year,” added Gail P. Harris, director of the Virginia Department of Social Services’ Office on Volunteerism and Community Services. “We are thrilled to be able to highlight the service of a few of these outstanding organizations and individuals who have made a commitment to serve.”
Additional information about the program and full bios on this year’s recipients can be found online at http://virginiaservice.virginia.gov/volunteering/governors-volunteerism-awards/.