SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University senior Wendy Finley of District Heights, MD, recently earned one of the nation’s highest student volunteerism honors, The Wind Beneath My Wings Award, during the Carroll F.S. Hardy National Black Student Leadership Development Conference in Arlington, VA.
Presented by the Stuart Educational Leadership Group and affectionately known as the “Katie,” the award annually honors a student who has achieved academic success while providing service and exemplary leadership to both the on- and off-campus communities through volunteerism and leadership.
“It was a very humbling experience,” Finley said. “SU has changed my life forever and I'm very proud to be called an SU Sea Gull.”
While at SU, Finley has served hundreds in the local homeless community by volunteering Saturdays at the Urban Ministries soup kitchen in downtown Salisbury. Eventuall, she recruited many other SU students to assist at the kitchen.
Under her leadership, SU student involvement eventually grew to planning full Saturdays at the kitchen. Student duties included menu selection and food preparation. In addition, Finley arranged for SU performance groups including the Gospel Choir, Step Squad and Gospel Praise Dancers to provide entertainment during the meal once per semester.
While coordinating these efforts at the soup kitchen, Finley also has been active on campus as president of SU’s NAACP chapter, a member of the Union of African-American Students and a peer mentor for new students. She also was a delegate to the national conference of the NAACP and was secretary of the Union of African-American Students when the union earned the NAACP Campus Community Service Award.
“Wendy has not only provided a wind, but a hurricane of explosive ideas and accomplishments since arriving on campus,” said Vaughn White, director of Multiethnic Student Services at SU. “Her appeal to students cut across racial, ethnic and geographic boundaries.”
“This is my home away from home, which means it’s my community,” Finley said. “We all need someone or something, and as long as I have something to give, whether it’s time, money, food, love or just a smile, it’s theirs.”
For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu. "