February 2, 2010 — Sarah Koczot, a fourth-year student at University of Virginia, has received the Scholar of Promise Award for outstanding youth-oriented community service.
The National Society of Collegiate Scholars recognized Koczot for her work with Camp Kesem, a non-profit summer camp for children of cancer patients. U.Va. students host a chapter of Camp Kesem, a national organization, at Camp Holiday Trails. Koczot, 21, is among the 29 students nationwide who have completed the required 50 hours of service.
"I'm honored and delighted that others have recognized my contribution toward children," Koczot said, "but working with kids and seeing them smile is the real award."
Koczot, of Fairfax, is majoring in foreign affairs, with a concentration in the Middle East and Asia, and a minor in chemistry.
Koczot was a member of the Camper Care committee in her first year. The following year, she became the Camper Care Coordinator, responsible for all the campers and camper recruitment and serving as a liaison with parents.
The weeklong camp is free to attendees. College students do all of the training, planning and fundraising. Koczot is currently planning a fundraising event for the camp at Keswick Hall in March.
"I had always wanted to be a camp counselor. I thought it was the coolest job to have," Koczot said. "It was a lot of work, but I loved every minute of it."
A graduate of Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, Koczot plans to pursue a master's degree in international relations and wants to work for the U.S. State Department.
The Scholar of Promise Award began when the National Society of Collegiate Scholars partnered with America's Promise to promote youth service so members could be recognized for their work in the communities. The society is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies. Membership is by invitation only, based on grade-point average and class standing.