Fort Hays State University freshmen Sidney Sullivan and Madison Crabtree were recently awarded fellowships in the Center for Civic Leadership (CCL).


The CCL is a nationally recognized institute focused on leadership development and civic engagement. It provides top quality co-curricular and educational programs and initiatives with the goal of developing a new generation of committed and enthusiastic citizens who will better the world and promote positive change.


The CCL hosts two projects: The American Democracy Project (ADP) and Tigers in Service (TIS). The goal of the American Democracy Project is to produce college graduates who are equipped with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and experiences they need to be informed, engaged members of their communities. Tigers in Service is a student-operated program that acts as a clearinghouse for college students wanting to volunteer and participate in community service activities.


Fellows are required to serve five hours each week with the Student Project Coordinators to participate in its projects and various events. Additionally, fellows obtain valuable mentorship and real-life leadership experience.


Those who successfully complete the guidelines are awarded a $1,000 scholarship and have the opportunity to pursue paid student employment within the CCL. Crabtree, an organizational leadership major from Spring Hill, and Sullivan, a political science major from El Dorado, exemplify the true characteristics of leaders and uphold the standards of the CCL.


Crabtree has been actively involved in various leadership opportunities and her background has well equipped her for any leadership climate. Her service experiences include volunteering at a nursing facility, a women’s shelter and elementary schools, as well as assisting with the Neonatal Intensive Care reunions at her local hospital, the Perinatal Bereavement Balloon Release and Christmas tree decorating.


"I feel that my organizational skills and desire to consistently help others can provide a consistent avenue to grow throughout this program," Crabtree said. "The time I spent volunteering has shown me a multitude of ways our communities need support. I cannot wait to embrace some of the opportunities in our Hays community."


Crabtree is well aware how this opportunity will help her grow professionally and academically.


"Academically, this program will provide me hands-on projects and opportunities to serve others," she said. "Being able to merge academia and community service will only benefit me in years to come. Getting the chance to volunteer throughout the community in small and large ways lets me see even more how important it is to create a positive change throughout the generations now and generations to come."


Sullivan, who earned an associate’s degree while still in high school, worked an internship for a non-profit organization in Topeka during the 2019-20 legislative session and has three years experience working at a public library. A self-described "hard worker," she looks forward to the fellowship.


"I love having a network of people who can help me when I need it," she said. "I am constantly working on improving my social skills and looking for ways to get out of my comfort zone. I came from a relatively small town, so I thrive off community and look forward to serving others."