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Northeast State’s Abbie Saulsbury earns service award

By BOB CARPENTER • May 15, 2018 at 7:00 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — Northeast State Community College student Abbie Saulsbury has earned the 2018 Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award. She is one of only five students to receive the honor statewide.

The award is presented by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) to recognize demonstrated success in public service.

Saulsbury graduated this May summa cum laude with an associate of science degree. She plans to pursue a doctorate in either political science or higher education administration.

THEC cited Saulsbury for her work with the Small Miracles Therapeutic Equestrian Center, the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Charity Miles.

Saulsbury has been involved with Small Miracles since she was 14 years old, and she volunteers one day a week at the facility, which helps individuals with disabilities, at-risk youth and veterans through equine-assisted activities and therapies. She completed a full-time internship with Small Miracles last summer.

She became involved with St. Jude’s four years ago when her sister was diagnosed with cancer. After being inspired by the treatment and care her sister received, Saulsbury started participating in walk/run events for the hospital, helping to raise several thousand dollars. She also helps to raise funds to buy Christmas gifts for pediatric cancer patients and their families.

Also, Saulsbury’s involvement in the St. Jude Walks/Runs to End Childhood Cancer led her to start running, and she’s used the app Charity Miles to raise funds for organizations such as Feeding America, Special Olympics, the American Cancer Society and the Niswonger Children’s Hospital. Charity Miles donates 25 cents for each mile run or walked to a charity of choice. So far, she has run 3,000 miles for charitable causes.

“I am truly honored and grateful to have received the Harold Love Award,” Saulsbury said. “Various organizations like Small Miracles, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Charity Miles that I have been privileged to volunteer and fundraise for have blessed me greatly. It is incredibly rewarding to be a small part of the life-changing work of each.”

During her time at Northeast State, Saulsbury was president of the Student Navigators and Toast to Education, as well as chief justice of the Student Traffic Court. Also, she was vice president of Leadership of Alpha Iota Chi and served as a member of the Council for Leadership Advocacy, Student Success and the TRiO Club.

The General Assembly created community service recognition programs for Tennessee higher education students and faculty/staff in 1991. In 1997, the awards were named for the late Rep. Harold Love, who was instrumental in passing the legislation. Five students and five faculty/staff members are honored statewide each year.

Individuals receiving the recognition represent the many dimensions of community service — volunteer work, public service, charitable service and leadership roles in community organizations. They serve as ambassadors for community service among the many diverse higher education communities in Tennessee.

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