About the Award
The DU Kimmy Foundation Community Service Professional Award reflects the Foundation's commitment to the professional advancement and service of capable young men and women in their growth and development as world citizens.
Award recipients will be chosen from seniors graduating in the spring from DU's traditional undergraduate program based on:
- Past contributions to community service as a DU student
- Future contributions to society via community service/engagement, including specific employment plans following graduation
The Kimmy Foundation's mission is to support youths who exhibit creativity, character, and compassion in keeping with the life and ideals of Kathryn Dougherty Galbreath.
This award highlights the Kimmy Foundation's efforts to support those who give to others and lead the way toward helping their community.
Please note: Depending on the awardee's level of unmet financial need, financial aid packages may be adjusted per federal regulations. Students can contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.
Award Eligibility and Application Process:
This spring, two awards of $5,000 each will be presented. The criteria for the DU Kimmy Foundation Community Service Professional Award include:
- Completion of at least 2 service learning courses (for example, classes that involved partnerships with community agencies to solve public problems or provide services);
- Completion of a community-engaged/public good research project, separate from work completed in the service learning courses listed above (for example, conducting research with a community partner to understand or address a public problem);
- Record of significant community service activities over time;
- Future contributions to society via community service/engagement, including specific employment plans following graduation.
To be considered for the DU Kimmy Foundation Community Service Professional Award, students graduating in the spring should submit a single pdf document that includes:
- A letter of introduction detailing achievements and future plans in terms of the above award criteria (maximum 3 pages, double spaced, Times Roman 12-point font);
- A resume listing community-engaged work (projects, research) as well as academic work (including coursework, publications, presentations and other relevant academic work);
- Your name, email address, and DU 87-number.
Application due by Monday, April 3rd at 9:00 am.
The award recipient will be selected by two representatives from the Kimmy Foundation as well as two DU faculty/staff, identified by the CCESL director.
Past Award Recipients
Alyssa Higgins graduated Summa Cum Laude with two majors, International Studies and Spanish, plus a Leadership Studies minor. She served as co-president of the Undergraduate Women's Council, as a Pubilc Achievement Coach, and was a part of the Pioneer Leadership Program, among other activities. Alyssa studied abroad in Cochabamba, Bolivia where she compiled short stories into a project that reclaimed storytelling as a form of valid expression. For her Honors thesis in Spanish, she collaborated with the community organizations We Are North Denver to study methods of artistic resistance to gentrification in Denver's Northside and to dissect how common defenses of gentrification depend on a colonized, euphemistic vocabulary. Much of her time as an undergraduate student was spent, she says, "exploring the potential of language to be a mechanism of both personal and social change." Post-graduation plans include pursuing a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition to become a professor of writing. "I believe words, when re-worked outside of traditional paradigms," she explains, "have the power to break oppressive spaces and to create avenues for learners to develop new forms of knowledge."
Neda Kikhia earned her bachelor's degree with a double major in Communication Studies and Religious Studies plus a minor in Leadership Studies. She has served as the co-president of DU Service & Change, as both a Coach and a Team Lead through Public Achievement, as a Program Assistant to various CCESL programs, and with the Pioneer Leadership Program's Community Change Initiative, among other activities. Neda is a strong advocate of service learning and community engagement. She completed a community-engaged research project centered around understanding the gap of resources for refugee youth when settling into new social and academic realms. Her own experience with discrimination committed her to actively create spaces where underrepresented voices can challenge stereotypes through education and shared experiences. She has a passion for organizing people around a common cause and coming up with innovative and sustainable ways to address community issues. In addition to the Kimmy Foundation award, Neda has received numerous impressive accolades, including being named the 2015 Service Student of the Year. Her plans for the future include pursuing a career in college access.
Sarah Yaffe received her degree with a double major in French language and International Studies with a specialization in Human Security. During her first year, she was a part of the Social Justice Living & Learning Community where she learned how to align her passion for volunteering with her academic career. Sarah was involved with DU Service & Change for all for years of her undergraduate education, and she served as co-president her senior year. She was particularly committed to the annual Day of Action which brings hundreds of young children to campus to experience "college for a day." Additionally, she was active with DU Interfaith Advocates, and she won the Undergraduate Champion of Change award. She presented at various workshops, summit, and conventions where she spoke about self-interest, service from one's core values, and the importance of critical reflection. Sarah accumulated a total of 730 hours of volunteer service during her time as a Pioneer, and following graduation, she plans to teach abroad where she will continue to give back as a global citizen, exploring the world through service.
Emily Thomas graduated from the University of Denver in June of 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts with a major in International Studies and a minor in Sustainability. The marriage of these interests led Emily to become immersed in community engagement through programs such as Public Achievement and the Sustainability Council. Using community organizing principles, she coached two 9th grade classes on issues of gang violence and youth gang involvement. Her contributions led to the development and implementation of a community event called “Games not Gangs.” She helped to utilize feedback from this community-engaged research project to enhance future partnerships. Both during her time abroad and while at DU, Emily served as a leader in efforts to find sustainable solutions to broad reaching social and environmental problems.
Tanner Mastaw completed his Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Public Policy at the University of Denver in June of 2015. During his 4 years as a pioneer, Tanner served as a Public Achievement Coach working with high school students on civic engagement. As a process-oriented thinker, Tanner has used his learning to encourage systemic and structural change in international educational communities in Rajasthan and Tanzania. He also contributed to the launch of Wisconsin’s 8th District Office’s first annual Youth Leadership Conference in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Green Bay. He bridged his community activism with his experience at DU by participating in University Student Government and by developing numerous service informed research papers and presentations.
Maddie Spilman graduated from the University of Denver with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Theater with a minor in International Studies. While at DU, Maddie worked for four years with the Public Achievement program through the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning. Using community organizing principles, Maddie facilitated the students through projects addressing areas they saw needed improvement such as immigration, restorative justice, education, and health. Maddie also worked for the Denver Center for Crime Victims to assist victims of crime with crisis intervention, and provide services to ensure their safety and well being. In addition, she served as Philanthropy Chair for her sorority, Delta Delta Delta, in which she led her local chapter to raise over $65,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Emily Bowman graduated from the University of Denver with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, Journalism, and Spanish in June of 2014. As a DU Pioneer, Emily was a founding member of the student-led volunteer organization, DU Service & Change, and served as one of it’s co-presidents in her senior year. She is currently living in Houston, Texas, working in the field of education, and preparing for graduate studies. Still volunteering, she interns at the Neuhaus Education Center in their Development and Advancement office. Emily hopes to build a career that propels her passion for serving others.
Joseph Zhang is the Founder of Project Ava, a nonprofit media site he started while attending the University of Denver. For several years, he has traveled the country documenting people’s stories. He has collaborated with filmmakers such as the Jubilee Project, spoken words artists, and various nonprofits on multiple projects. Currently, he resides in Denver and works in the nonprofit industry as a development and marketing professional.