Featured Alumni

Hunter Dowds
Hunter Dowds

"In our intense academic environment at Lawrence, volunteering provides students with the opportunity to serve their community while also taking a break from their studies. I have met some of my closest friends while volunteering, who have continued to support and encourage me throughout my undergraduate career."

Hunter has had the opportunity to volunteer both locally and abroad; a majority of his work has been in the areas of scientific literacy and disease prevention.


Sara ProstkoSara Prostko '20

"Volunteering to me means many different things… giving back to your community, fulfilling a need that the community has made known… It's also a way for volunteers to gain skills and gain responsibility and to gain leadership or insight of what they want to do."

While at Lawrence, Sara focused her volunteer work on music outreach initiatives which brought different types of music to people who would otherwise not have had that exposure, as well as worked closely with Saving PAWS and other local animal shelters.

Since her time at Lawrence, Sara was offered a job at the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes doing volunteer management and volunteer recruitment. Through this, she was able to help create a new volunteering platform called "Meet the Expert" for the Girl Scouts where people of many different professions and backgrounds come in and speak to young girls, helping to expose them to different career areas they might want to pursue. She also works with Family Services of Northeastern Wisconsin and volunteers with the Trevor Project.

The leadership and problem-solving skills Sara developed through her community service work at Lawrence allowed her to hit the ground running at her current jobs, quickly taking on projects and initiatives with minimal assistance.

Sara emphasizes that organizations often want to help volunteers mobilize their ideas. She encourages college students to reach out to organizations with ideas they have to help their community as chances are the organization will provide the support the volunteer needs to get their ideas off the ground.

2019/20 Outstanding Volunteers

Alexander Hadlich. The Music Outreach Award Winner says: "My job last summer was to bring music from a music festival in North Carolina into the community. I was the Outreach Coordinator and I sent musicians to retirement communities, daycares, museums, zoos, art galliers, etc"

Alyssa Kuss. The Music for Social Change Award winner says: "I simply like to be there for my friends and be a supportive figure for my colleagues to help them succeed. I enjoy giving emotional support to those who need it. I also try my best to put a smile on other people's faces."

Christina Sedall. The Environmental Justic Award recipient says: "There is a lot to be learned and fixed and the community is where it starts, where I can make an impact and where impacts have been made upon me."

Cynfor Lu. The Lantern Community Service Award recipient says: "Volunteering truly is a unique way at Lawrence to not only help the surrounding community of which Lawrence is a part of, but also to escape the Lawrence bubble for a little bit, and connect with people in the Appleton area."

Danielle Dixon. The Lantern Community Service Award recipient says: "When I was younger my reading level was behind and my school was able to provide extra help for me. This allowed me to excel and actually start enjoy reading. I wanted to be able to provide tutoring so I could help students that were in the same position as me."

Floréal Crubaugh. The Excellence in Sustainability Initiatives Award Recipient says: "For me, volunteering is an essential component of being a member of a healthy community. Giving time to foster connections with other community members as well as the physical space we inhabit is essential for nurturing inclusive, conscientious spaces."

Hanna Elizabeth Tobias. The Breaking Down Barriers in Classical Music Award winner says: "I have since made it my life goal to work to break down the elitist barriers that tend to surround classical music, to make it more accessible, create new dialogue, and to demonstrate that you don't need to be an upper class, educated, white male to enjoy and participate in it."

Henry McCammond-Watts. The Innovative Music Program Award winner says: "I really believe in the connecting ability of art to human souls. I love to use music as a tool for social change and activism, rather than something only certain people are allowed access to."

Jacelynn Allen. The Diversity & Intercultural Empowerment Award recipient says: "I volunteer/support my community because I like to give back and enjoy helping people."

Jesus Sanchez. The KidsGive Community Service Award recipient says: "I volunteer my time with KidsGive by presenting to community members about misconceptions about Africa and sustainability programs that have been implemented in the past."

Leo Mayer. The Dedication to Community Impact Award recipient says: "I like to volunteer in schools, providing additional support to students as a tutor, because I believe education to be fundamentally empowering. I've been lucky enough to have received attention and care throughout my entire education, and everybody deserves the same."

Liam Fisher. The Education Influencer Award recipient says: "I like to give back to my community by supporting organizations that support education, conversation, and dancing. The best movements incorporate all three of these things. If an organization is well-founded, its initiatives can be communicated and spread through educationally grounded conversation. And dancing is always nice, too"

Mara Kissinger. The Animal Hero Award winner says: "We have been able to help out at HEA's sanctuary where they mostly keep animals that are deemed as dangers to the public or have been returned to the shelter too many times. It's been a really rewarding experience to really help with HEA's mission of no-kill and rehabilitation."

Michaela McElroy. The Dedication to Ending Hunger Award recipient says: "I volunteer because I believe it is the right thing to do. My community gives so much to me that I would like to give something back to my community."

Ora Raymond. The Senior with the Most Volunteer Hours says: "The idea of Tikkun Olam, repairing of the world, is a core value that was stressed when I was growing up and I look forward to continuing to help play a role in repairing the world."

Rebecca Swanson. The Music for Social Change Award winner says: "I love supporting the education community in Appleton and beyond. I believe that all individuals should have access to a high quality education to equip them with the best skills possible to help them have a positive impact on the world."

Sam Parkhurst. The Data and Technology in Social Change Award recipient says: "I like to volunteer at Pillars Inc because they provide so many resources for people fighting homelessness including shelters and programmin to help address housing needs in the Fox Valley. I want to help others succeed in their fight against homelessness."

Samantha L. Torres. The Award for Commitment to Uplifting Students of Color recipient says: "There is a saying that originates from an African philosophy of Ubuntu, it goes 'I am because we are.' Ths is the philosphy I hold near to my heart as it captures the reason why I must support my community."

Sara Prostko. The Innovative Program Award recipient says: "I find it important to give back to a community that has given so much to me. Also to make a difference and to make sure everyone, animal and personk, has a shot at reaching their potential."

Sharon Edamala. The Leadership in Community Engagement Award recipient says: "One of my personal goals was to get everyone I know to volunteer at least once through the CCE during my years at Lawrence...I'm proud to say that many of those people have continued to volunteer in some capacity after trying it once!"

Shelby Siebers. The Award for Excellence in Supporting Native Youth recipient says: "I have always been taught to give back as much as I can. Seeing the impact of giving back makes all of the difference. I support my community because it fills my heart and it fills my fire and I hope it encourages others to do the same."

Sophie Dion-Kirschner. The Lantern Community Service Award recipient says: "Obviously I'm just one small part of this but watching my LARY buddy grow as a person and knowing that I had been there for her has been one of the biggest honors of my life."

Zhiru Wang. The Lantern Community Service Award recipient says: "I enjoy meeting new people through volunteering. I had the most meaningful conversations with other volunteers when I served in the community."

We would like to recognize the following students with the Ambassador for Change award for their commendable efforts in making social change in their communities.

  • Alex Freeman, Ambassador for Change in Equal Access to Education
  • Ali Remondini, Ambassador for Change in Equal Access to Education
  • Alyssa Kuss, Ambassador for Change in Music For Social Change
  • Andrea Ritziu, Ambassador for Change in Equal Access to Education
  • Anna White, Ambassador for Change in Animal Welfare
  • Caitlyn Lansing, Ambassador for Change in Child Advocacy
  • Brian Ho, Ambassador for Change in Fair Housing
  • Caitlyn Lansing, Ambassador for Change in Equal Access to Education
  • Christa Zhang, Ambassador for Change in Equal Access to Education
  • Claire Schrier, Ambassador for Change in Child Advocacy
  • Courtney Wilmington, Ambassador for Change in Arts Advocacy
  • Hannah Burgess, Ambassador for Change in Animal Welfare
  • Leo Mayer, Ambassador for Change in Equal Access to Education
  • Lexie Livingood, Ambassador for Change in On-the-Spot Service
  • Liam Fisher, Ambassador for Change in Equal Access to Education
  • Luisa Jasmin Sanchez, Ambassador for Change in Equal Access to Education
  • Marion Hermitanio, Ambassador for Change in Sustainability
  • Meralis Alvarez Morales,  Ambassador for Change in Arts Advocacy & Racial Justice
  • Mia Francis, Ambassador for Change in Using Art as an Educational Tool
  • Miriam Syvertsen, Ambassador for Change in Equal Access to Education
  • Molly Ruffing, Ambassador for Change in Child Advocacy
  • Morgan Fisher, Ambassador for Change in Child Advocacy and Spirit of Service
  • Nita Isom, Ambassador for Change in Equal Access to Education
  • Papo (Carlos A) Morales, Ambassador for Change in Equal Access to Education
  • Sabrina Salas, Ambassador for Change in Elder Rights
  • Sam Gaudette Beller, Ambassador for Change in Helping Native American Youth
  • Samantha Victor, Ambassador for Change in Social and Environmental Justice
  • Sarah E. Navy, Ambassador for Change in Arts Advocacy & Racial Justice
  • Sean McLaughlin, Ambassador for Change in Equal Access to Education
  • Shirley (Lili) Xu, Ambassador for Change in Listening with Intent
  • Stephany Pichola, Ambassador for Change in Racial Justice