Senior Kevin Medeiros Wins CT Dept of Higher Ed Community Service Award

News Story: May 1, 2011
Kevin Medeiros '11 plays wiffle ball with one of the Sunshine Kids.  Kevin recently won the CT Dept of Higher Ed's Community Service Award.

Sacred Heart University senior Kevin Medeiros of Bristol, RI, has won the prestigious Connecticut Department of Higher Education Community Service Award in the category of “student group.” Medeiros won for his work with the campus Habitat for Humanity chapter of which he was president this year.

“It means a lot to me to win the award for Habitat for Humanity and Sacred Heart’s chapter,” Medeiros said. “Everyone in the chapter worked hard and gave a lot of time to the cause.”

Under Medeiros’ leadership, the Sacred Heart chapter this year fulfilled a longtime dream of building a home from the ground up for a deserving Bridgeport resident. He came up with the idea of combining efforts with Youth United to raise the $75,000 needed. Much of the money was raised through a series of creative fund-raisers, and a State Farm Insurance matching grant this past fall put them over the top. Medeiros then led the building effort, which involved the approximately 200 club members working five days per semester on the home. The home is expected to be completed by the end of the summer.

Medeiros said he first became interested in volunteerism through a requirement of the Catholic high school he attended in Providence, RI. He fulfilled that requirement by spending a half day each week working with a local kindergarten class. When he heard about the Community Connections program during his freshman orientation at SHU, he knew immediately he wanted to take part. That week of volunteering in the community prior to starting his freshman year was just the beginning for Medeiros. In addition to his work with Habitat, he has also worked as a mentor in the Bridgeport public school system for the past four years and as a Sunshine Kids’ mentor, working with children whose families have been affected by HIV/AIDS.

“Kevin is a special individual with a warm heart and great integrity,” said SHU’s Director of Volunteer Programs Dawn Doucette-Kaplan, who nominated him for the award. “He is not only a great role model for the students that he mentors in Bridgeport, but also for the students here at Sacred Heart. He has definitely made his mark on this community, and he will be missed.”

Medeiros is headed to St. Louis next fall where he plans to earn a master’s degree in public affairs and to continue volunteering. Eventually he hopes to have a job that will allow him to influence public policy. “I want to shape policy in such a way that it improves the lives of the kind of people I have been working with,” he said.