Lavell Simpkins, Shippensburg University
Lavell Simpkins is a senior Sociology major at Shippensburg University, where his tireless work as a student leader has been widespread and touched many on campus. Lavell has been instrumental in creating awareness for historically underrepresented students through his work in the Multi-Cultural Student Affairs office. During his time in the organization, he has served in many roles including the President of the Black Student Union, a Student Senator as well as being a Diversity Teaching Assistant. He also founded and organized the Ship Votes campaign, which registered over 3,000 community members and students to vote. He has made a tremendous impact on students on campus through the Orientation Leader and Resident Assistant positions focusing on successfully transitioning first-year students into the Shippensburg Community. As a part of orientation he spoke with parents personally to answer questions and be a resource. Lavell has also helped create student-led workshops to teach over 200 high school students valuable life skills. He has continued his work with youth through his regular service at the local YMCA. Lavell has accomplished all of this while continuing to make his academics a priority and inspiring and engaging others all over the Shippensburg University campus.
-George Harpster, President
It is difficult for me to talk about my experience helping others; my experience helping others is something that I do out of concern for humanity, not praise. I have an obligation to help others, without the help of my mentors, I would not be here today. Education is a lifeline and it is what changed my life. Throughout my last four years, I have been developing and trying to understand my purpose, values, and moral compass. I want to continue to grow, mentor, and give back everything that has been given to me. I have registered voters, engaged in deep listening, volunteered hours of service to numerous communities, inspired children to attend college, helped students transition into college, and I have done all of this while reflecting on my growth as a person. I owe my life to service, even if it is helping someone hope through a conversation. Cars and fancy slim-fit suits are nice, but when I am dead, I cannot take those things with me. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”