Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards – 2020 and 2022
The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards are given to one graduating senior and one member of the larger Davidson community, and aim to recognize individuals “of noble character who have acted as humble servants to others by putting service before self-interest.” Additionally, the award aims to recognize “spiritual qualities practically applied to daily living, usually going to persons who have given unselfish service without due recognition.”
Emily Duval learned she won the Algernon Sydney Sullivan student award in 2020; and collected it during Sunday’s ceremony. Duval spent her college years helping women and children struggling with homelessness at the Crisis Assistance Ministries and Salvation Army Center of Hope in Charlotte.
The Bonner and Quest scholar also taught children in the LEARN Works after-school program at the Ada Jenkins Center, and as a summer servant leader intern with Freedom Schools.
She’s now a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teacher.
This year’s community award goes to an individual who was born in Puerto Rico, moved to the United States at the age of 7 and, after settling in Davidson 12 years ago at the age of 67, began a nine year relationship volunteering at Davidson K-8.
Logging in almost 11,000 hours of volunteer service to date, you can find him in the library, the school office, the cafeteria …. he is open to doing anything that provides support to making a child’s overall school experience a positive one. Starting as a Math/Science tutor and Spanish language interpreter, he now maintains a full time schedule, Monday through Friday, supporting students and teachers in a variety of capacities. In the words of current and former Davidson K-8 faculty and staff:
“What stands out the most is his willingness to help students with their reading and math skills one day, and the next day you would see him using his tools and adjusting the students’ desk for a comfortable fit. Not only that, but he has also helped many teachers, including myself, move furniture at the beginning of the school year due to switching grade levels or classrooms.”
Another describes: “What often goes unseen is his willingness to help beyond the school day and outside of the school framework.” During remote instruction, he “made home visits for the students who needed technology assistance, helping make sure the students had what they needed to work online, and worked with them to make sure they stay connected.”
And from another: “He has been known to assist students in getting eyeglasses by translating their needs to the school nurse and driving them to multiple appointments.”
Finally, one teacher sums it up in these words: “No one has given so much to the students in the Davidson community and expected so little in return for their efforts….he does all of this with no expectations of reward, recognition, or even thanks.”
Thus, in recognition of his tireless service to the students, families, faculty and staff of the Davidson K-8 community, and for his kind heartedness and contagious positivity, it is our sincere privilege to name Mr. Edwin Arocho as the community recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.