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K-State Today Student Edition

May 4, 2012



Graduate student, university organization earn honors for community service

By Communications and Marketing

A Kansas State University graduate student is being recognized for her volunteer work, while a university student organization is being honored for its service to the community.

Rebekah Carnes, master's student in sociology, Manhattan, is the recipient of a Celebrating People in Action community service award from HandsOn K-State. Carnes was named the Outstanding Student Volunteer by the organization.

International Buddies, a program offered by the university's office of international programs, is being recognized as the Outstanding Student Organization. The International Buddies program pairs local K-State students, staff, and community members with international students, scholars and family members. Once paired, buddies meet regularly to learn about each others' cultures, customs, and explore Manhattan and K-State.

Winners of the Celebrating People in Action awards are chosen based on their leadership and service in the K-State and Manhattan communities. The winners receive a $250 check to donate to the nonprofit organization of their choice. Carnes donated her check to the Manhattan Emergency Shelter Inc., while International Buddies gave its check to World Friendship.

Carnes is a longtime volunteer for a variety of organizations and causes. She has volunteered in different capacities for a grassroots AIDS relief organization called the Tlamelo project in Botswana. The work has ranged from helping other K-Staters get involved to working full time as the organization's youth coordinator. She also has volunteered with the Manhattan Emergency Shelter for the several years. Although she took a break this semester, she will serve the shelter again this summer. Carnes is active with her church, where she and her husband organized a college student group. In addition, she has been an English tutor for international women who are involved with World Friendship.

Carnes said she is honored to receive the award and that she is inspired by others who dedicate their time to their community or a specific cause.

"This was an enormous honor and something that I was truly humbled by," she said. "There are so many people who really pour their lives into our community. These are the people who inspire me to give back through volunteering."

HandsOn K-State is a program offered by the university's School of Leadership Studies that promotes civic education and leadership by engaging the Kansas State campus and Manhattan community in meaningful volunteer and service opportunities.

Other Celebrating People in Action award winners include:

* Wesley Garibay, sophomore at Manhattan High School, Outstanding Youth Volunteer. He donated his award check to Manhattan Young Life.

* Youth Impacting Community, Outstanding Community Group. The organization donated its award check to the Great Manhattan Community Foundation.

This is the eighth year HandsOn K-State has sponsored the Celebrating People in Action awards. Financial contributions for the awards are provide by Community First National Bank.

Anyone interested in volunteering in the Manhattan community can learn more by visiting http://www.handson.k-state.edu.