Freshmen Service Award

Every year, the W Society presents the Freshmen Service Award to one freshman who has exemplified a commitment to service in the William & Mary community and beyond. The award recognizes an individual with an outstanding commitment to positive social change—someone who demonstrates a deep tradition of engagement, a critical approach to service, and a history of inspiring those around them with humility and maturity. The 2012 recipient embodies this award fully.

From the day she stepped on campus, this year’s award recipient has shown commitment to the cause of combating educational inequality. Despite being a new member of the Tribe, during the fall semester she sought and found a way to serve her cause by working with high school students through a mentoring program called Lafayette Kids. As the Lafayette Kids co-president in charge of programming, she has taken the initiative to create engaging programs for the students such as a Chinese New Year celebration and a healthy snacks program. Through Lafayette kids, this individual tutors and mentors younger students twice a week at the Learning Center at Lafayette Village, a Community Housing Partner’s low-income housing development. Beyond structured time working with this specific program, this compassionate individual has organized outings with her mentees such as a manicure and frozen yogurt outing. She has also served as an informal liaison between Lafayette Kids and the Sharpe Program, coordinating rides and tutoring times with Sharpe Scholars. Additionally, the recipient dedicated time to contributing to a thorough research prospectus for the program. This year’s recipient has demonstrated that she is able to think critically about social issues like education inequality within the surrounding Williamsburg community and to garner her understanding and passion through action.

Her nominator writes: “Madeline has demonstrated great skill at tutoring children of many ages and skill levels, keeping order and enforcing discipline in a fair and effective way, and forming tight bonds with the kids and fellow volunteers at Lafayette.

Her commitment to truly engaging with the Lafayette Kids community through forming personal relationships with the kids, Americorp supervisors, and William and Mary volunteers and pursuing her interest in educational inequality through providing tutoring and mentoring to low-income students has been extraordinary. Madeline is the epitome of an active citizen: she continues investigating the social issue she wants to resolve while actively working to create immediate change in her community and reflecting on the effectiveness of her work. Madeline is worthy of every award in the book!”

The W Society is honored to recognize this year’s Freshman Service Award recipient, Ms. Madeline Grimm.

by W Society