Posted on December 13th, 2017 by Danielle Staub
By Ashley Bowman
Special to the Averett University Office of Marketing and Communications
Each year the Dan River Nonprofit Network holds a Volunteer of the Year Contest to celebrate those throughout the community that go above and beyond with their engagement in the Dan River Region. For the second year in a row, an Averett University student took home the win.
Taylor Doss, Averett sophomore business major, won the 2017 Volunteer of the Year award, voted on by the public. Doss is an Averett Bonner Leader and a cheerleader for the University. She was nominated by Brigid Belko, director of experiential learning at Averett’s Center for Community Engagement & Career Competitiveness (CCECC), who says, “her initiative is impressive and exemplary of what innovation is to come from her generation.”
“This means I have to work even harder to show Ms. Belko who nominated me, the people that voted for me and the community, that I deserve their vote and their confidence,” said Doss. “This really was such an honor and I’m so glad I could represent Averett’s new Bonner Leader program in such a positive way.”
Doss founded her own public-private partnership within the region. Connecting URW Federal Credit Union with the Danville Church-Based Tutorial Program, Doss leads volunteers in tutoring GLH Johnson Elementary School students on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The elementary students meet Averett service-learning students and URW employees at the credit union twice a week to complete homework and build math skills. Doss tracks the students’ progress via their report cards, and has already seen marked improvement.
“Getting to know the children from Johnson Elementary and helping them gain an understanding and a real desire to learn has helped me as much as it has them,” Doss said. “I’ve gained as much as I have given – maybe even more.”
Three students from Averett were nominated for Volunteer of the Year for 2017 – Doss, senior Lindsey Fulcher and junior Kristen Viegelmann. Alumna Erica Skiddle won the 2016 Volunteer of the Year award.
The 2017 Volunteer of the Year celebration was held Monday, Dec. 11, at Ballad Brewing in downtown Danville. There were 15 nominees up for these awards, three more than the previous year. During the event, for the first hour nominees mingled with members in the community and their friends and family. Each nominee was introduced and given a certificate of recognition for all of their work with the Dan River Region this year. The Network also honored another member of the Danville community with a committee selected Volunteer of the Year award.
The award winners will go on to have a monetary donation given in their name to the nonprofit of their choice. Last year Skiddle donated her winnings to the Danville Area Humane Society.