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George Washington, Georgian Court earn NCAA Team Works award

Schools honored for extensive community service efforts

Student-athletes at George Washington and Georgian Court have earned the 2017 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. The winning schools were determined based on the amount of service hours completed and the participation of student-athletes. The NCAA will honor the student-athletes later this month on their respective campuses.

“Connecting student-athletes and member schools to their communities highlights the impact of leadership, collaboration and dedication in college sports and cities across the country,” said Victor Hill, NCAA associate director of championships and community programs. “NCAA Team Works is proud to recognize the difference student-athletes make beyond the classroom and competition, while also supporting the student-athlete experience, their well-being and their successes through service projects and community engagement.”

This award marks the second consecutive win for the student-athletes at George Washington in Washington, D.C., who took first-place honors in the Division I category. The Colonials tallied more than 3,000 service hours by participating in events with more than 60 nonprofit organizations.

“Serving our community is a hallmark of GW athletics,” said Madison Townley, a George Washington student-athlete development assistant. “It is important our student-athletes recognize and support the community that supports us. We’re also thrilled that this pillar of what we do at GW extends far beyond the capital area and back to the communities where our student-athletes are from around the world.”

The Colonials participated in a variety of outreach projects, including The Grassroot Project. This nonprofit provides an eight-week health education program to middle school students that focuses on awareness and prevention of HIV and AIDS. The student-athletes who become “coaches” for this program learn how to facilitate school and community-based programs. They learn leadership, cultural competency and nonprofit management. The GW athletics department has been volunteering with The Grassroot Project for seven years.

Student-athletes at Georgian Court earned first place in the Division II category. They participated in more than 60 events, amassing more than 2,800 hours of community service.

“On behalf of all the student-athletes here at Georgian Court, I am proud of the achievement that we have accomplished over the last year,” said Ben Salsby, Georgian Court Student-Athlete Advisory Committee president. “Having an app such as Helper Helper allowing us to track the hours volunteered is a great idea, giving the students something to look back on at the end of their seasons or semesters showing them what impact they have made. With 10,000 community service hours alone last academic year, it has given us a great baseline to work from, providing a good stepping stone for future generations of Georgian Court student-athletes.”

Among other volunteer activities, student-athletes from various Georgian Court teams travel once or twice per month to a local senior community, where they compete in the Georgian Court Wii Bowling Championships against the residents.  

Per the Helper Helper tracking, student-athletes at George Washington and Georgian Court had a 60 percent participation rate and provided more than 5,400 hours of service combined. 

Rounding out the top five schools in the Division I competition were Fairfield, Miami (Florida), North Carolina Central and Louisville. Division II finalists included Arkansas Tech, Mercy, Winona State and Texas Woman’s University. 

For more information on the NCAA Team Works Helper Helper Community Service Competition, visit ncaa.com/teamworks.