Sophomore awarded scholarship

By Staff Writer
October 7, 2004

Courtesy of the Wolfington Center

In keeping with Cabrini College’s theme of “Education of the Heart”, a new scholarship was established in June 2004 to award a second-year student who “discovers” service at Cabrini in their first year. Officially titled “The Thomas P. and Jill Nerney Leadership in Community Service Scholarship,” this one-time award of $1000 is meant to encourage freshman students to integrate service and civic engagement into their everyday activities.

The scholarship is sponsored by Thomas and Jill Nerney, who themselves are 1977 alumni of Cabrini College. In addition to being C.E.O. of U.S. Liability Insurance, Tom Nerney currently serves on the Cabrini College Board of Directors. According to Dr. Mary Laver, Coordinator of Community Outreach and Partnerships for the Wolfington Center, the Nerney’s are “supporters of student opportunities for ‘the full Cabrini experience.'”

To be eligible for this new scholarship, students must fulfill the following requirements: be a rising sophomore, have a GPA of 2.5 or above, be financial aid eligible and have demonstrated in his/her freshman year that he/she is dedicated to serving in and/or leading community projects at Cabrini College. The hope is that the individual awarded will continue to perform service and be involved in the school and community volunteer projects throughout his/her remaining years at Cabrini.

This year’s recipient is Ryan Dunn. Laver, called Dunn an example of a leader in “Education of the Heart” as well as an example of the “heart and dedication of the Class of 2007.” A current sophomore from New York, Dunn came to the attention of Laver in the one-credit “Leadership with Heart” course. Laver describes him as an “enthusiastic student” and was particularly intrigued in the personal mission statement he stated to the class.

Dunn spoke of his desire for people around the world to be able to reach across cultural boundaries, especially those between America and Ireland. Dunn and his family have had first-hand experience with this through the program “Project Children,” in which a child from a broken-down home in Ireland came to spend the summer with them.

Dunn points to the courageous efforts of the many fireman and police officers in his family on 9/11 as the inspiration for him to help others. In addition, he recalls his Freshman Day of Service as a catalyst that propelled his interest in volunteering at Cabrini College. He and the classmates of his College Success Seminar went to a thrift shop that was run by ex-cons and helped them organize the clothes and other such activities. According to Dunn, “It helped me realize how grateful I was.” Later that year, as part of his “Leadership with Heart” class, Dunn went into Philadelphia and spent time with homeless single mothers and helped baby-sit their children. He was also very involved in the lacrosse team’s service project as well as other service activities on campus.

When Dunn found out he was chosen as the recipient of this scholarship at the end of summer, he recalls being “stoked” and “pumped.” A general feeling of happiness arose from both him and his family, as they all considered it to be a great honor.

Dunn’s hope for the current freshmen class at Cabrini College is that they “get inspired to help out on their own, even if it’s just on campus.”

If you are inspired, please contact the Wolfington Canter to find out about this scholarship and other service-oriented activities. Applications for the scholarship will be put out by the Wolfington Center in March 2005. The recipient for next year will be announced in the spring.

Posted to the Web by Lori Iannella

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