Maui Community College student wins national humanitarian award

Jessica Allen is one of five college students from across the nation honored for their commitment to community service

Maui College
Katie McMillan, (808) 984-3549
Marketing and Community Relations
Kristen Bonilla, (808) 956-5039
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Jun 25, 2007

KAHULUI, Maui, Hawaiʻi — Maui Community College student Jessica "Mira" Allen was recently named amongst five college students in the nation bestowed with the coveted 2007 Howard R. Swearer Student Humanitarian Award from Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 1,000 college and university presidents, representing some six million students, who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education. Only one community college recipient of the award is selected each year.

"Jessica‘s contributions to her college and larger community offer an exemplary model for how one student might have a profound impact on her expanding environment of influence," said Maui CC Chancellor Clyde Sakamoto. "Out of a simple but deep desire to assist others in their quest for success, her service is an example for all of us."

Campus Compact presents the Swearer Award annually to five students nominated by their college presidents for creating an innovative approach to addressing a social, educational, environmental, health, economic, or legal issue within a community. Each award, made possible by a grant from Ariel Capital Management, LLC, includes a $1,500 prize — $250 to support a service program or organization the student has worked with and $1,250 for the student‘s professional development.

Allen, who is studying journalism, is news editor of the student newspaper, Hoʻoulu, and vice president of scholarship for Maui CC‘s Phi Theta Kappa chapter, an international honor society for two-year colleges.

Through all of her service learning projects, which includes participation in a language exchange program in which she teaches English to someone in exchange for learning Spanish once a week, Allen aims to instill in others the belief, knowledge and skills they need to attend college. As vice president of scholarship for Phi Theta Kappa, she aids other students in finding scholarships to obtain their education by organizing campus workshops.

"This is a very important issue to me because I was one of those people who thought I couldn‘t get an education because I was too poor," said Allen.

She hopes to extend her efforts by organizing and offering similar workshops for the general community to inspire others out there to pursue higher education, as well as establishing a peer counseling program.

"This year‘s winners have earned their acclaim by undertaking projects that have left a lasting impression with their peers, their colleagues, and the people of their communities," noted Maureen F. Curley, president of Campus Compact.

The students were also recognized for demonstrating initiative and innovation in addressing a wide range of community service issues as well as their ability to translate their ideas into practical results.

Campus Compact is an independent, nonprofit association under the umbrella of Brown University. The Swearer Award is named in honor of the life and work of Howard R. Swearer, the 15th president of Brown University and one of Campus Compact‘s founders. More information about the Howard R. Swearer Student Humanitarian Award is available online at

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