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United Way holds inaugural Student United Way Awards

United Way holds inaugural Student United Way Awards

Last week, United Way launched a program to recognize young leaders across the country who are advancing the common good by giving, advocating and volunteering. At colleges and universities across the country, students are working to improve local communities in the areas of education, income and health through a powerful movement called Student United Way.

The inaugural awards program brought attention to the collective efforts of every Student United Way across the country and highlighted outstanding individual leadership, exceptional Student United Way organizations, savvy social media skills, and successful program efforts that bring Live United to life! Prizes include recognition on the national level, mini-grants and scholarships, Live United gear, volunteer-ships with United Way Worldwide and more.

Student United Way is a campus based club or organization led for and by students. At the present time Student United Ways exist on more than fifty campuses across the United States including: colleges and universities, junior and community colleges, technical & trade schools and in two high schools. Student leaders are playing a crucial role in their communities through Student United Way. 

For example, LIVE UNITED awards for work in the areas of income and for health were given to the Student United Way of University of Florida, which led the production of low cost cradles made from affordable items proven to be safe sleep alternatives to traditional more pricey cribs. The cradles were then donated to expecting parents for the purpose of curbing the doubling of infant deaths in Alachua County in the last two years caused by unsafe sleeping conditions. Student United Way of University of Florida also helped provide food for low income elementary school children whose parents have difficulty affording basic needs at home – with a weekend hunger backpack program. Student United Way of University of Florida volunteered to stuff backpacks on Wednesday mornings on a biweekly basis throughout the year, also helping to raise funds and collect 216 pounds of food. Student United Way of University of Florida focused on improving income and health issues in Gainseville, FL earning them the prestigious award!

Student United Way 2011 Award Winners:

Student United Way campus organization of the Year

Cornell University (NY)

Student United Way Leader of the Year

Alexandria Lee, Saint Louis University (MO)

Student United Way Campus Adviser of the Year

Kathy Kotecki, Montana State University Billings (MT)

LIVE UNITED In Action Awards:


Montana State University Billings (MT)


University of Florida (FL)


University of Florida (FL)


Florida State University (FL)


University of Louisville (KY)


Northern Michigan University (MI)

Innovation Award

Kansas State University (KS)

Live United People’s Choice Award

1st Place - Binghamton University (NY)

2nd Place - Sault Area High School (MI)

If you are interested in learning more about Student United Way please contact student@unitedway.org, check out www.facebook.com/studentuw or go to www.liveunited.org/student