Belmont University was well represented Tuesday at the 20th Anniversary Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteers of the Year Awards Luncheon held at the Franklin Marriott Hotel.
Belmont nursing students were nominated for the Volunteer Group award and a top five finalist in the category for their work with the nonprofit organization Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee (PCAT). For the last two years, Belmont nursing students have given their time and expertise to the Parent Pathway program sponsored by PCAT. Parent Pathway seeks to break the cycle of child abuse and neglect by providing home visits to young, at-risk parents. The nursing students fill a crucial gap in the program, since social workers who carry out home visits are not typically trained to manage their clients’ medical issues and questions. The nursing students’ rapport with their clients has enabled young mothers to often feel more comfortable asking questions of their Parent Pathway nurse than of their doctor.
Belmont student Heather Coleman was a finalist for the Youth Volunteer award for her work with Belmont Volunteers for Literacy. Coleman has been active in organizing Belmont’s annual Family Literacy Day and founded Belmont Volunteers for Literacy in order to increase campus visibility of the issue and to provide access to student government funding for Literacy Day. Last fall, she led the Volunteers for Literacy into a partnerhip with Better World Books, a for-profit that funds literacy initiatives all over the world. Through this partnership, 471 books were collected in an end-of-semester book drive and were donated for use during Family Literacy Day.
The Strobel Awards were established in honor of Mary Catherine Strobel who selflessly gave her time to hundreds of homeless, hungry and less fortunate people in Middle Tennessee. Over 200 Middle Tennessee volunteers are recognized at the annual luncheon.