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2020 Extraordinary Community Service (Students and Organizations)

The Extraordinary Community Service Award honors students and student organizations that exhibit the Volunteer spirit in the community.

Michael Almond

Michael AlmondMichael Almond, a senior studying biochemistry and German, has served for the past year as student building manager of the Student Union. He has also served as an orientation leader, VOLbreaks program leader, secretary-general and director-general of the Model UN program for high school students, MLK Day of Service site leader, Ignite Serves team leader, and a living and learning community ambassador. He plans to become a student affairs professional advocating for the needs of students.

What does being a Volunteer mean to you?

Being a Volunteer means engaging fully with fellow students, staff, and faculty both inside and outside of the classroom. We are more than just students seeking degrees, and we strive to support each other and create a strong sense of mattering and belonging.

Maya Neal

Maya Neal, of Naperville, Illinois, recently completed her bachelor’s degree in political science. A standout student–athlete, she served as captain of both the soccer and the track and field teams. She worked with numerous campus and community service initiatives as a member of the VOLeaders Academy and community outreach co-chair of the Student–Athlete Advisory Committee. Last year, she conducted a shoe drive that donated more than 100 pairs of athletic shoes to youth agencies in Puerto Rico. She is now playing professional soccer overseas.

What is your favorite memory on Rocky Top?

My favorite memory on Rocky Top was meeting and talking to Coach Pat Summitt at a Lady Vols basketball practice on an unofficial visit.

Shannon Perrone

Shannon PerroneShannon Perrone is a senior studying language world business, Hispanic studies, and global studies with minors in Latin American and Caribbean studies and in international agriculture and natural resources. She has been an active volunteer in the Knoxville community and beyond since her freshman year, particularly with organizations focusing on Hispanic immigrant outreach, and has served as a tutor and translator at Inskip Elementary School. On campus, she has been active as a student–athlete with Tennessee Rowing, president of the Language World Business Student Association, VOLbreaks participant, and peer mentor with the FUTURE program.

What does being a Volunteer mean to you?

For me, being a Volunteer means giving everything I have to serve those around me. It means going out of my way to be kind and mindful of others, and to always approach situations with an open mind. It means sharing the Volunteer spirit with all those around me, and always greeting friends, family, and strangers with a Big Orange smile.

Mary Logan Yancey

Mary Logan YanceyA senior communication studies major, Mary Logan Yancey participated in the Leadership and Service Living and Learning Community in her first year on campus. Since then, she has been a participant and then student coordinator of the VOLbreaks program, managed a campaign to raise money for Knoxville Special Olympics, and been a member of the Campus Events Board. She served as a resource development intern with United Way of Greater Knoxville.

What does being a Volunteer mean to you?

Being a Volunteer for me means giving the best parts of my heart to my community and being an ally. I want to use my voice to lift up my community when it is my place to do so, and it is important for me to give my time and resources to my community in whatever way they need.

Student Nurses Association

Student Nurses AssociationThe Student Nurses Association is a student-led organization for nursing majors at all grade levels. Members logged 850 hours of service during fall 2019 at organizations including the Love Kitchen, Boys and Girls Clubs, and Habitat for Humanity. The group is best known for its Precious Prints Project, which works with area hospitals to provide families who have lost a child with a silver pendant bearing their child’s fingerprint. Since its launch in 2012, the project has served more than 1,000 families and expanded to nine area hospitals. Last year, SNA partnered with academic institutions in Nashville and Las Vegas to begin offering the program in those locations. The group’s annual fundraiser, Sprint for the Prints, registered 500 participants and raised $12,000 last year.

What is your favorite memory on Rocky Top?

One of the best memories I have with SNA is participating and volunteering at the Sprints for the Prints race in the fall, which raises money for the Precious Prints Project. This event is a chance to not only support an incredible cause, but we also have the opportunity to meet some of the families that have been affected by this project. Seeing what a huge impact this has on so many families and speaking with some of them, makes this project feel so much more real.
Katherine Klein, SNA president