Georgian Court has received the NCAA Team Works Community Service Competition award, which recognizes student-athletes’ service to their respective communities through divisional competitions.
NCAA Team Works, which coordinates community service efforts at NCAA championships, and Helper Helper, a volunteer management and tracking platform, launched the community service competition to recognize student-athletes and schools who give back to their communities. This year’s challenge marked its seventh competition, which ran from Sept. 1-Dec. 15 and is based on the number of service hours completed and the number of participating student-athletes. Helper Helper tracks the school participation data throughout the competition.
For schools who opted into the challenge, their total service hours were 218,594 hours, more than double last year’s total. The estimated economic impact of those service hours, per Independent Sector’s calculation of the national value of a volunteer hour, was $6.5 million.
“The NCAA is very proud of the outstanding work all our student-athletes do across the country year-round in their communities,” said Victor Hill, associate director in the NCAA’s office of inclusion, education & community engagement.
“Congratulations to this year’s three divisional winners for their dedication to help others and continue the culture of giving back on their respective campuses.”
Georgian Court claimed the Division II award. Coker finished in second in Division II, with Arkansas Tech coming in third. Student-athletes at Georgian Court, which also won the award in 2018, averaged 20 hours of community service each in this year’s competition.
“Helper Helper has created opportunities to help us become better student-athletes,” said Alyssa Herrera, a junior softball player and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee president at Georgian Court. “It teaches us how to show compassion, make meaningful relationships, and give back to those around us.”
Georgian Court’s community service activities included trips to elementary schools to read to children, Christmas gift drives, canned food collections for a local shelter, organized walks to fundraise for cancer research, and coaching youth soccer teams.
“Winning this award is truly an honor,” said Dan Sempkowski, director of athletics at Georgian Court. “While the wins and losses are certainly important, service sits as one of our most significant core values here at Georgian Court University. It is truly impressive how so many of our student-athletes seek out opportunities for themselves outside of their program and department efforts. I am proud of how important service has always been to this athletic department. I am even prouder that despite the transition of a new administration team, it has remained a top priority, which is a testament to our head coaches and the culture that is established.”
The student-athletes at Georgian Court will receive an award from the NCAA for winning the competition.