BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College senior Anne Taylor of Buffalo, New York, received $2,000 after uploading a picture of herself volunteering at an event for children and teenagers with Down syndrome. As a winner of the National Student Day 2014 Contest, which was presented by the National Association of College Stores, Anne has received $1,000 for to use as she wishes, and $1,000 to go a charity of her choice.
Bethany College bookstore manager Brad McDougal and Regional Manager Susan Aylward presented Taylor with the award Nov. 20 at the College book store. The store was one of 1,972 throughout North America to participate in the annual contest, which is part of an initiative to promote and recognize students’ volunteerism and social responsibility.
Students were encouraged to submit photos online of themselves volunteering, and Taylor submitted a photo of her with her twin sister, who has Down syndrome and autism. Taylor was one of three students nationally chosen for the award. She has chosen Autism Speaks as the charity which will receive $1,000.
“Autism Speaks supports autism research and conducts awareness and outreach activities that help families like mine, and kids like my sister, receive the proper care and resources,” Taylor said. Autism Speaks is also the national philanthropy of sorority Alpha Xi Delta, of which Taylor is a member.
“Volunteer work is important to me because I get to make new friends, and gain important skills and experiences that have helped me in my personal life,” she said. “I believe volunteers have an enormous impact on the health and well-being of communities worldwide. Everyone deserves a helping hand and through volunteer work I can help positively impact change people's lives in ways I might not even realize.”
Bethany, a small college of national distinction, is located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus. Bethany, the oldest degree granting institution in West Virginia, was founded in 1840 and traces its origins to the founding of Buffalo Seminary in 1818 at what was then Bethany, Virginia.