University earns prestigious presidential community service award

Clarion, Pa.- Clarion University has recently become the recipient of the Presidential

Kelly Ryan was instrumental in the process of Clarion winning a spot on the service honor roll.
Kelly Ryan was instrumental in the process of Clarion winning a spot on the service honor roll.

Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for 2014.

An honor roll award is the highest award that a university can receive for community service.

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll was created in 2006, and it highlights the role colleges play in the communities that surround them. It also highlights and recognizes the accomplishments of students helping within their community and helps students achieve more by motivating them to lead meaningful lives.

The honor roll service hours were counted from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 by 3,250 people who earned a total of 408,924 hours. Kelly Ryan, the assistant director of Clarion’s Center for Leadership and Involvement, said she “has applied for years and they never got it until now, and I cried a little bit.”

“It is just so much work to get all this information gathered up. Every hour of community service counts, every hour of planning counts, and every meeting about planning counts.”

She said, “If you are on a committee for an organization, you want to count all the meetings. For example, the Black Student Union mentoring program Queen’s counts,” she said.

“Meeting up with the committee to make sure things are in order counts, finding new members counts, and making sure everyone is doing their jobs counts,” Ryan said.

“Also, being a mentor counts because you are helping a young person better themselves. Every hour of just giving your time to help: that counts.”

“All the advertisement, all the word of mouth counts, which in turns makes the number ridiculous.”

“The best part is now when we send out community service papers, we get to stamp it with the bald eagle, so now we have the bald eagle and the golden eagle.”

Ryan continued, “I want so badly to reply again and am currently counting hours for this year. Everything counts: internships, nursing classes, speech pathology activities.”

“NSSHLA (National Student Speech Language Hearing Association) was a feature in recognition for all that they do and have accomplished,” Ryan said.

“Even individuals that have so many hours can log their hours on, and if it gets to be too much, I am more than willing to help. Logging the hours is what will help us receive the honor roll again,” added Ryan who also said, “Even with all the activities that organization put together there is way more community service hours than believed,” she said.

“For example, Soul Food Sunday hosted by BSU, the planning of the event is hours by itself, finding volunteers is hours, cooking the food is hours because you are providing a service for others,” Ryan said.

“The government is very versatile with what is considered hours. Providing service is the main point,” said Ryan. “Even providing a service for students on a Friday to prevent them from making destructive decisions is considered service because we are helping someone. It is just as important that all the organizations continue to keep track of hours from meetings, committees, events, planning, and whatever it takes.”

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