Our student recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award goes to a young woman from Davidson, North Carolina. She is an English major and ethnic studies concentrator. She has spent four years as a Bonner Scholar, and according to one, is the leader within the group, organizing the ideas and initiatives of her peers to bring to action. Her primary focus is on youth advocacy, whether tutoring at a local elementary school, The LEARNWORKS afterschool program at Ada Jenkins, or as a Servant Leader for the Freedom Schools in the summer.
This student displays in her daily living that serving others is a prerequisite to leadership and that consistent, direct action in the community impacts change. She is a seemingly tireless advocate for youth empowerment through education. Nowhere is that more evident than in the Freedom School where she works to "foster" a love for reading, increases self-esteem and generates positive attitudes toward learning for 50 area youth. As if this were not enough, she has served as a hall counselor, the President of BSC, the President of Delta Sigma Theta sorority and as a mentor for STRIDE, the orientation program for students of color.
Beneath that quiet, if not shy demeanor, is a woman filled with compassion, conviction and purpose. I personally can always count on her to step up and let her voice be heard when justice needs to be served. One close friend says "Although she has had many academic and extracurricular commitments she never stopped being an amazing friend. Her friendship has enhanced my Davidson experience. She is considered to be an exemplary leader by fellow students, faculty, staff and community partners.
You have given much back to many; today is your day to receive the recognition that you so richly deserve, we honor you today as the 2013 student recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award... Kaneisha Lashay Gaston.