December 07, 2009
Senior Aaron Linville receives statewide Community Impact student award

Aaron Linville, a senior at Lees-McRae,
received the fourth annual North Carolina Campus Compact Community Impact Student Award during the Compact's Student Conference held at Western Carolina University Saturday, November 7. Twenty-seven college students across the state received the award for making significant, innovative contributions to their campus' efforts to address local community needs.

Sylva councilwoman Stacy Knotts and the Compact's Executive Director, Dr. Lisa Keyne, presented the award to Linville before an audience of more than 220 college students and guests representing 25 higher education institutions. Linville also received the Governor's Volunteer Certificate of Appreciation and a congratulatory letter from Rep. Heath Shuler.

Linville is a senior honors student, majoring in history and religious studies from Laurel Springs, NC. He approached Danielle Usedom, director of campus recreation and other Lees-McRae College staff with the idea to create a community climbing team for local children in Banner Elk, ultimately leading to the formation of the Kids' Climbing Team. The team meets twice a week, and is free to children in the community. Members learn rock climbing techniques and teamwork, and are challenged to think creatively and stay active and healthy.

"Aaron's initiative has made a sincere impact on many at Lees-McRae, his friends and family, and much of the surrounding community. We are proud to have him as a student at Lees-McRae College and hope that his endeavors will inspire others to dream, dare and achieve," said Nikki Karabinis, NC Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA at Lees-McRae.

North Carolina Campus Compact is a statewide coalition of higher education presidents and chancellors established to encourage and support campus engagement in the community. For more information, contact program coordinator Jonathan Romm (336) 278-7278 or Nikki Karabinis at Lees-McRae at (828) 898-8849.

Pictured is Linville, front, with members of the Kids' Climbing Team.

Media Contact:

Blaine Hansen  |  Vice President of Strategic Planning and Effectiveness
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