First Jefferson Awards Honoree Exemplifies Student Volunteerism
Even after she had the medallion in her hand, Emily Stinehart could scarcely believe it.
UTPresident Lloyd Jacobs had presented her with The University's first Jefferson Award for community service in front of family,
friends and fellow volunteers. She'd posed for photos and been interviewed by a member of UT's student media corps.
Asshe sat for her last interview during an eventful day, Stinehart smiled with wonder and said, "I still can't believe it.
I'm so glad my colleagues thought I was deserving of this."
Stinehart, a junior, was lauded with UT's inaugural Jefferson Award for her outstanding acts of volunteerism through the Circle
K organization. Circle K is part of the local Kiwanis group that fosters community service in partnership with several local
programs, including the Josina Lott Center, the Ronald McDonald House, Read Around the World and more.
Stinehart's nomination cited her activities at the Josina Lott Center, Toledo Head Start Program, Cherry Street Mission and
Six Cent Initiative, among others, stating, "She seems to simply relish the fact that she has created a nurturing and warming
relationship in a world that can be distant and cold at times. Her mentality of pure selflessness, ambition and optimism has
rejuvenated and even inspired me and countless others to think less of self and more of goodwill and compassion."
Part of Stinehart's motivation to give, she said, can be traced back to generosity her family received during challenging
times. When both of her parents lost their jobs a few years ago, she said the kindness of the Weston community helped keep
Asa student at Otsego High School, she joined the Otsego Book and Media Club.
"We'd go out and buy materials to make hats and scarves for kids who needed them," Stinehart remembered, adding she also volunteered
at local coat checks, recycling events, bake sales and library programs.
"Iwanted to give back to those who had helped my family."
The history major juggles class work, two part-time jobs and volunteer and leadership roles within Circle K. She is current
district secretary and is running for lieutenant governor in the northwest Ohio district.
"Emily has really stepped up in leadership," said Julia Martin, business and economics librarian, William F. Carlson Library,
and faculty advisor for Circle K. "I see it in how she interacts with the other students. She's a leader, in both word and
Stinehart enjoys spending time with people at the Josina Lott Center, where she has established meaningful relationships.
"Iwent there once after I'd had a really bad day," Stinehart recalled. "Some residents don't have a lot of visitors and look
forward to our visits. They totally brightened my day. I left with a completely different outlook."
After earning her baccalaureate degree, Stinehart will pursue a master's degree in criminal justice, English or history. She'd
like to join a community service organization once she establishes her career so she can continue to serve.
When asked why volunteerism has become such an important part of her life, Stinehart had a simple answer: "I love seeing people
Student's volunteerism honored in nation's capital
UTjunior Emily Stinehart received congratulations from Ohio Sen. George Voinovich this month during ceremonies recognizing
national Jefferson Award winners in Washington, D.C. In January, Stinehart was named UT's first annual Jefferson Award honoree
for exemplary community service and leadership through the Circle K student organization.