George Washington lacrosse sophomore Mackenzie Jones has been named a finalist for the university's Outstanding Student Service Award. Jones was one of just eight finalists to be selected, with the winner to be announced at the 28thannual Excellence in Student Life Awards presentation on Thursday, April 25 in Lisner Auditorium.
The recipient of the Outstanding Student Service Award will have exhibited exceptional commitment to supporting the needs and interests of the community locally, nationally, and/or globally through direct community service, and will have shared his/her passion with the George Washington campus community.
"Mackenzie works extremely hard on and off the field and it is an honor for her to be recognized for all of her hard work, not only with the Grassroots program, but with numerous other community service projects as well," sixth-year head coach Tara Hannaford said. "She exemplifies our goals as an athletics department of working hard in your sport in addition to giving back to the community."
In line with the Department of Athletics and Recreation's and the university's initiative of community service, Jones has been a prime example of a student-athlete who donates her time to the greater Washington, D.C., area. So far this academic year, Jones has totaled 131 hours of community service on her own, while the lacrosse team as a whole has accumulated 619 hours of service. In addition, the Colonials' lacrosse program leads all GW teams in hours of service per student-athlete as well as overall hours completed.
Jones' service projects include: her post as Resource Coordinator for the Grassroots Colonials program, a project that seeks to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS by using collegiate student-athletes to educate local middle school students of the issue; working as a mentor with College for Every Student where she speaks with young students on the importance of attending college; and organizing a charity partnership with the Marine Corps Marathon and Half Marathon. Currently, she is working on a clothing drive for either the Salvation Army or the Ronald McDonald Foundation this spring in addition to an event for Grassroots to showcase the Magic Johnson documentary film The Announcement.
During the 2012 fall semester, the Colonials lacrosse team spent Fridays making lunches for the homeless at a local church, and around Thanksgiving the squad collected laundry baskets of canned food for the Foggy Bottom Food Pantry. The Buff and Blue have also participated with Friends of Jaclyn, a nonprofit organization that matches children with pediatric brain tumors and their families with local college and high school sports teams, for the past four years.
In October of 2012, Jones was the first GW student-athlete to receive the department's Community Service Athlete of the Month award, which is given to those who lead by example and who most impact the GW and Washington, D.C., communities through service.