Ambassadors Program Establishes Award for Exemplary Volunteer Service

Portrait photo of Jarius Washington wearing Student Ambassadors attire.

WINTERVILLE—While much of the work Pitt Community College Student Ambassadors put in during the academic year occurs in plain sight during college events and fundraisers, the weekly service hours they perform throughout campus go largely unnoticed.

But, as it turns out, PCC’s student ambassador advisors Kim Simpkins, John Carrere and Sherri Joyner were watching — and what they noticed led to the creation of an award to recognize an ambassador each year for extraordinary volunteerism. They named it in honor of ambassador Jarius Washington, who completed 173 volunteer service hours between August 2022 and April 2023.

“The advisors were so impressed with Jarius’ hard work and dedication that we decided to name the ambassadors’ annual service award in his honor,” Simpkins said. “His name will continue to grace the award, which will be presented to the ambassador who completes the highest number of service hours each year, until a future ambassador exceeds his record of 173 service hours. When that happens, the award will be re-named to honor the record-breaking student.”

Washington, a Winterville resident, was assigned to PCC’s Fulford-Rhodes Student Store during the 2022-23 academic year. There, he worked with Student Store Manager Holly Barbee and her staff, assisting them with stocking shelves, organizing books, and practically any other task they needed him to complete. The number of service hours he accumulated in the student store nearly doubled the 104 hours put in by the next-closest ambassador.

A Simulation & Game Development major, Washington is nearing completion of his PCC studies. He says he is planning to continue his education at a four-year college or university to someday use his artistic and creative abilities to either create games for a large company or operate his own business making games.

Simpkins says a plaque honoring ambassadors with the highest number of service hours each year will be displayed in the Jo Allison Smith Student Resource Center and Ambassador Suite of PCC’s new Eddie & Jo Allison Smith Center for Student Advancement.

Started in 1992, the PCC Student Ambassador program is highly competitive. Students must apply for participation each year, and those selected must maintain at least a 3.2 GPA. They receive scholarships from the PCC Foundation that cover the cost of in-state tuition and fees and also receive professional attire to wear while assisting college staff during official PCC events, PCC Foundation fundraisers and recruiting.

Simpkins says the 2023-24 ambassadors group will meet for the first time as a group later this month. She said they will come together again in August for three days of leadership training that includes communication and public speaking tips, team-building exercises, community service project planning, and meetings with PCC administrators.