The New River Valley Leading Lights Volunteer Award recognizes community, collegiate, and youth volunteers from all sectors of the New River Valley who are making community changing impacts and serving as a model to inspire others. Virginia Tech student Analise Adams of Blacksburg, Va., a junior majoring in psychology and human development, was honored as the collegiate award recipient during this year's celebration.

Winners were selected based on their strong community involvement, proven leadership, demonstrated lifestyle of dedicated, continuous, long-term involvement to our community, and creativity in initiating and implementing projects that lead to a better quality of life.

Adams, a student leader in the SERVE (Students Engaging and Responding through Volunteer Experiences) living-learning community, volunteers an estimated 600 hours per year with the multiple organizations to which she dedicates her time.  In the SERVE community, Adams spearheaded the service immersion trips taking students both locally to Pulaski, Va., Charlotte, N.C., and internationally where she was a co-leader for a trip to the Dominican Republic.

Separate from her work with SERVE, Adams is heavily involved with the RAFT Crisis Hotline through New River Valley Community Services and the Younglife program in Floyd. Now in her third year with RAFT, she serves as a crew chief supervising student volunteers.

In addition to her volunteerism in the New River Valley community, Adams has taken her skills and education to participate in academic conferences on engagement. Last fall she presented a project titled “Connect the Dots” at the Civic Engagement Conference sponsored by North Carolina Campus Compact. She was also awarded with the North Carolina Campus Compact 2011 Community Impact Student Award.

Adams' nominator for the Leading Lights Award wrote, "[Analise] has mentored more students, led more service projects, and initiated more life-changing conversations within the context of SERVE than any other member. Analise intentionally invests in others in a way that is rare, especially of someone her age.  Not only does she serve her community, but she invests in her peers and the youth in her community in a way that inspires them to volunteer as well.  She is always bringing out the best in others and helping them to discover their own passions within the context of community."

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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