Both students are recognized for their commitment to volunteerism and “going above and beyond.”
Plymouth State University (PSU) students Alyssa Griffin and Madison Hawkes were honored on November 17, 2021, by Volunteer NH with Spirit of NH Awards in an annual celebration of volunteerism. They were recognized as individuals who “go above and beyond the call to serve” throughout the Granite State, and both received Volunteer Service Awards in the Young Adult category.
Volunteer NH is a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote the tradition of volunteerism and ethic of service in New Hampshire. It supports and sponsors national service initiatives and provides training, recognition and a central site for volunteers and volunteer programs to strengthen their communities.
“In addition to their commitments and responsibilities as outstanding students, Alyssa and Madison dedicate considerable time and effort to making our campus community and our region better,” said Jessica Dutille, director of community impact and student life, Plymouth State University. “They truly embody the University’s motto, ‘Ut prosim’ (“That I may serve”), and are highly effective in serving others.”
Alyssa Griffin, a third-year meteorology student and member of the PSU honors program from Londonderry, New Hampshire, views volunteering as a way to advocate for the needs of her peers while examining the root causes of social issues. As president of the Student Support Foundation (SSF), Griffin has awarded more than 100 student emergency financial grants and managed the on-campus food pantry – organizing food drives, opening satellite pantries, and advocating for funding. Earlier this year, Griffin was awarded the Presidents’ Leadership Award from Campus Compact for New Hampshire and was named a Newman Fellow for her outstanding civic engagement. On campus, Griffin serves as an admissions representative and as class treasurer.
Madison Hawkes, a third-year elementary education major and Miss Seacoast 2021, from Newburyport, Massachusetts, volunteers upwards of 40 hours per month in addition to attending classes at PSU. Hawkes is a ResearcHers Ambassador, conducting fundraising for the American Cancer Society, advocating for female-led cancer research, and spreading awareness about cancer education and prevention. Hawkes also partners with Reach1Teach1Love1, which advocates for change surrounding the stigma of mental health and suicide. She was recruited as the organization’s peer board treasurer and has since created the position of marketing and events coordinator and was elected peer board president. On campus, Hawkes serves as PSU’s Class of 2023 vice president and leads tours for prospective students through the Admissions Office.