Courtesy of Georgian Court University Athletics
LAKEWOOD, N.J. (April 10, 2018) -- The Georgian Court University Lions continue to demonstrate that service is not just a Mercy core value here at GCU, but a way of life as the University's student-athletes are again the proud recipients of the NCAA Team Works Helper Helper Community Service Competition award for their community outreach efforts.
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 who give back to their communities. The competition ran from January through March with the winning schools' victories being decided based on the number of service hours completed and participation of student-athletes. The honors are being announced in conjunction with National Student-Athlete Day, which is celebrated each year on April 6. The NCAA will honor the student-athletes later this month on their respective campuses.
"These exceptional student-athletes continue to demonstrate each and every day that their roles here on campus transcend the field of play," stated Laura Liesman, Assistant Vice President for Athletics & Recreation. "Our fine young men and women have impacted so many lives in more ways than they will every know and I could not be more proud of them for their efforts."
As mentioned, this award marks the second consecutive win for the student-athletes at Georgian Court, who took first-place honors in the Division II category. The Lions tallied 2,700 service hours by participating in events with more than 20 nonprofit organizations. One of the biggest events over the semester was the National Girls and Women in Sports Day on February 3. This was attended by 191 Georgian Court athletes who participated in service activities in celebration of the day.
When asked about his experience participating in community service, Artie Sanchez, a junior on the men's soccer and lacrosse teams, as well as president of GCU's Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) commented: "As student-athletes, we don't realize until we personally reflect that just a small amount of our time results in an enormous effect on the lives of people in our community. Not only does it impact those we help, but it impacts us, as well."
Helper Helper also introduced a "March Madness" style bracket that lets 64 NCAA Division I, Division II, and Division III teams compete head-to-head to see who can have the greatest impact in their community. The Lions had three programs make the competition (men's soccer, women's basketball, women's soccer) with women's basketball making it all the way to the Division II Final Four!
"The most amazing thing about being in the Helper Helper Final Four is the fact that we did not really set out to be at the top," stated women's basketball head coach, Jazz Perazic. "Our team enjoys being of service. They look for ways of helping whenever they can. They love the feeling of doing something impactful and purposeful. Our core values of respect, service, integrity, compassion and justice serve as the foundation to everything that we do."
This is the fourth annual NCAA Team Works Helper Helper Community Service Competition award, with all Divisions I, II and III participating schools combining for 94,683 hours of community service in 3,300 opportunities. NCAA Team Works is proud to honor student-athletes who are making a difference in their communities, contributing to their overall student-athlete experience, well-being and success while in college and after graduation.
"Service is one of the Mercy Core Values embraced by Georgian Court University," stated University president, Dr. Joseph R. Marbach. "It is gratifying to see this value put into practice by our student-athletes and all the members of the Athletics department. We ask our students to lead by example, and winning the Helper-Helper award for the second year in a row demonstrates that they are answering the call. I am proud of the positive impact our student-athletes are making in the community ... Go Lions!"
About the NCAA
The NCAA is a diverse association of more than 1,100 member colleges and universities that prioritize academics, well-being and fairness to create greater opportunities for nearly half a million student-athletes each year. The NCAA provides a pathway to higher education and beyond for student-athletes pursuing academic goals and competing in NCAA sports. More than 54,000 student-athletes experience the pinnacle of intercollegiate athletics by competing in NCAA championships each year. Visit ncaa.org and ncaa.com for more details about the Association and the partnerships that support the NCAA and its student-athletes.
About Helper Helper
Helper Helper is an app and web portal that makes it simple for institutions to track hours and coordinate community service opportunities. Former University of Michigan basketball player, Krista Clement, founded Helper Helper to simplify the volunteer process for students and help them create a lasting impact within their communities. Helper Helper works with over 350 colleges and universities, including a partnership with all of NCAA Division II and NCAA Team Works™. For more information on Helper Helper, visit www.HelperHelper.com or follow them on Twitter @HelperHelperApp.
ABOUT THE CACC
The Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference is an NCAA Division II Conference composed of 14 institutions in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The member institutions are Bloomfield College, Caldwell University, Chestnut Hill College, Concordia (N.Y.) College, Dominican (N.Y.) College, Felician University, Georgian Court University, Goldey-Beacom College, Holy Family University, Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), Nyack College, Post University of Waterbury, University of the Sciences, and Wilmington University.