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The 2014 Paul W. Gabonay Volunteer Service Award recipient is Jacie D. Hubbard, a senior sociology major at Hanover College. Jacie is the founder of LIGHT, a student organization providing mentoring to young women at Madison Juvenile Correctional Facility (MJCF). Since its founding a year and a half ago, Jacie’s nominator tells us, LIGHT has grown from 20 student members to over 100, and as LIGHT’s leader, Jacie averages eight hours a week guiding its planning and service efforts. Further, Jacie and other LIGHT members work directly at MJCF for three hours a week, teaching young incarcerated women about self-empowerment, healthy relationships, communication skills, job application, self-esteem, and many other issues. She and her organization members do all their own fundraising for this initiative.

This past summer, Jacie expanded her efforts with MJCF through ADOPT (A Dog On Prison Turf). In this program, she worked with inmates to train “unadoptable” dogs to be adopted by the local community, giving the women a new sense of pride and self-worth. She taught classes for the inmates on self-empowerment and teambuilding, giving them the care that they may not have otherwise received.

In addition to her work with MJCF, Jacie has worked on the Hanover campus to raise awareness about social justice issues, working closely with the chaplain to bring Sister Simone Campbell to Hanover College to speak about poverty issues. After graduation, her hope is to return and continue working with MJCF, to positively impact more young women.

Evaluators for this inaugural award included Consortium members from Anderson University, Franklin College, Marian University, and the University of Indianapolis. Among their comments about Jacie were:

“Jacie has clearly found a passion for service to the young women of the Madison Juvenile Correctional Facility, and has used that to fuel the development of a program that not only benefits the inmates, but also the student members of her organization, LIGHT. Both that work and her expansion of LIGHT to include ADOPT show her resourcefulness and creativity, and her plan to return to the facility after graduation further underscores her commitment to serving those in need. She is a wonderful choice for the Paul W. Gabonay Volunteer Service Award.”

“Jacie [has] intense dedication to a worthy cause, including her motivation to encourage other students to volunteer, and her creative programming (i.e. the ADOPT program).”

“Jacie Hubbard demonstrates not only a servant heart, but also a dedication to empowering others to do the same by rolling up her sleeves and personally engaging them in the process.  She clearly maintains an ongoing and consistent connection to the cause for which she is passionate as well.  A worthy recipient!”

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