Davidson College senior Nate Casey '17 has been recognized for outstanding leadership and service by North Carolina Campus Compact, a statewide network of colleges and universities with a shared commitment to civic engagement. Casey is a recipient of the network's Community Impact Award, honoring one student leader at each member school.
Casey is one of 25 students selected by their campus for the 2016 honor, joining more than 200 college students recognized by the network since the award was first presented in 2006.
A religion major from Tega Kaye, South Carolina, Casey is driven to make an impact on the issues of homelessness and poverty. Over the past three years, he has conceived innovative ways to support individuals living in poverty and then sought out resources to support the work. With the non-profit Speak Up Magazine–which "gives the poor and powerless a voice and a job opportunity"–Casey has facilitated writing classes, directed life coaching lessons, helped vendors find housing, written and edited articles, and directed weekly street outreach to recruit vendors. In 2014, he raised grant funds to produce a documentary examining perspectives of individuals facing homelessness, and he spent a week filming on the streets.
Outside of work in his own backyard, Casey has led groups of teammates to Uvita, Costa Rica, and to Sauteurs, Grenada, each time helping the community complete strenuous tasks and builds. In addition, he made two trips to South Africa, where he led sports camps for children and served the homeless of Stellenbosch.
Casey is also a Bonner Scholar, member of the football team and president of the college's Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He was recently named to the 2016 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, which was established in 1991 to recognize a select group of college football players who have made a commitment to service and enriching the lives of others.
Casey was honored at the Compact's annual CSNAP student conference, held this year on Nov. 12 at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. The event convened more than 160 students and staff from 24 campuses in the network. In addition to awards and networking opportunities, the conference included student-led workshops on diverse community engagement topics and a showcase of organizations working for social change, including the Campus Kitchens Project, Rachel Carson Council and the Sustained Dialogue Institute.
North Carolina Campus Compact is a statewide coalition of 36 public, private, and community colleges and universities that share a commitment to civic and community engagement. The network was founded in 2002 and is hosted by Elon University. North Carolina Campus Compact is an affiliate of the national Campus Compact organization, which claims 1,000 member schools representing nearly two million college students.