Peru State College
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News Release

Peru State's Black Student Union Selected for 2010 Governor's Points of Light Award


Front row, left to right: PSC First Lady Elaine Hanson; Shyriah Marshall, a junior from Detroit, Mich.; BSU Secretary Chloe Courtier, a sophomore from Omaha; and Jade Gordon, a senior from Omaha. Back row, left to right: PSC President Dan Hanson; Myneeka Childs, a sophomore from Omaha; BSU Faculty Advisor Kristi Nies; Ryan McClarty, a junior from Omaha; Kendall Dorsey, a senior from Omaha; BSU President Devin Wright, a senior from Omaha; Jessica Hayes, a senior from Hamburg, Iowa; and Dwayne Syndor, a junior from Omaha. Not pictured: BSU Vice President Fred Whitted Jr., a senior from St. Louis, Mo.

(Peru, Neb.) Peru State College’s (PSC) Black Student Union (BSU) received a 2010 Governor’s Points of Light Award for their volunteerism and service to the community from Gov. Dave Heineman during a Proclamation Ceremony at the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln.

The Governor's Points of Light Awards are presented quarterly in recognition of volunteers who give their time, talent and energy to help Nebraskans build stronger communities. The awards are sponsored in part by Woodmen of the World.

Heineman said, “I’m pleased to recognize the community involvement efforts of Peru State students. This award celebrates the outstanding volunteerism taking place year round across our state. I congratulate BSU members on their academic achievements and on their volunteer efforts that benefit the Peru campus and community.”

The group was nominated for the award by PSC First Lady Elaine Hanson.

Front row left to right: Jade Gordon, Jessica Hayes, Shyriah Marshall, BSU Secretary Chloe Courtier, Myneeka Childs, Governor Dave Heineman, BSU President Devin Wright and First Lady Sally Ganem Back row left to right: BSU Vice President Fred Whitted, Kendall Dorsey, Dwayne Syndor and Ryan McClarty

Hanson said, “I am delighted that the Black Student Union has been selected to receive this prestigious award. This group is comprised of motivated, passionate, genuine and caring students who are making an indelible impression on the PSC campus and in southeast Nebraska. They have accomplished many projects and impacted many lives in a very short time and are great examples of service for faculty, staff and students.”

BSU is a club formed in 2008 by PSC students to foster a sense of community and stimulate intellectual, social, cultural and political growth for students of all backgrounds. In her nomination statement, Hanson noted that BSU members are students of high integrity who have held themselves out as examples of excellence in the classroom and on campus, creating a culture of giving while embracing inclusiveness and opening avenues of learning about diversity.

Front row left to right: Governor Dave Heineman, BSU President Devin Wright and First Lady Sally Ganem Back row left to right: Kendall Dorsey, Dwayne Syndor and Ryan McClarty

BSU President Devin Wright, a physical education major from Omaha, said, “It’s great to receive recognition for all of our hard work."

Some of BSU’s projects include holding a clothing and personal care items collection for Project Response in Auburn, preparing emergency backpacks for children, reading to children in the PSC Day Care Center, visiting local nursing homes, speaking to area service clubs and raising money for Haiti earthquake relief. BSU has also worked to increase cultural awareness by creating educational displays and hosting speakers for Black History Month. Other activities include sponsoring the college’s first annual music festival Oak Stock, a winter formal dance, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, homecoming float, poker night and a presidential inauguration activity.

BSU will host a leadership conference this year for their fellow students from Chadron and Wayne State Colleges titled Branching Out: Leadership, Diversity and Making a Difference, which will emphasize outreach to high school students. 

BSU Faculty Advisor and English Instructor Kristi Nies said, “I am so very proud of every BSU member. These students understand what it means to be part of a larger community and how important it is to give back to that community. On behalf of the entire group, I want to thank the Kiwanis Club of Peru, the Peru Area Ladies and the Peru Day Care for allowing us to engage in several community service opportunities with their organizations.”