Seniors Tatenda Tavaziva and Ryan Trask reaped the benefits of their service and hard work in both the community and campus when they received the Heavin Servant Leadership award during the annual fall convocation.
The accolade is based on servitude to either the campus or community, and recipients are put in the spotlight in order to serve as an example to the rest of the student body.
Senior accounting major and student body president Tatenda Tavaziva received one of the awards and decided to donate $500 to Helping Hands.
He said, “It is very humbling …. I could think of 20-30 people who deserve the award before me.”
Tavaziva has served the community and campus by being active in First Baptist Church, Belton; leading Focus for the month of September and actively supporting the many sports teams at the university.
“I really don’t think I deserve the award,” he said, “but I am excited to get it. I wish my parents were here to see it, but they are 14,000 miles away .… I feel like I have something to prove.”
Senior Christian studies major Ryan Trask received the other award and designated $500 to be donated to Com-passion Inter-national, which strives to aid people affected by poverty among the world’s poorest countries.
“I chose Com-passion because I really believe in the work that they do with impoverished children in the world. Com-passion does a great job of educating people (so) that they can make a significant impact in the life of a child for a very small price.”
Trask served the community through Canyon Creek Baptist Church as a youth intern and has been heavily involved in campus activities, including Welcome Week and Revival.
He said, “It is incredibly humbling to be a recipient of this award.”
Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Steve Theodore thinks highly of both Tavaziva and Trask, saying, “Here are a couple of people who are doing it right. Watch them.”
The selection process for the recipients of the Heavin Servant Leadership award includes both faculty and student nominations and the representation of a “servant’s heart” in each person.
The honor is sponsored by a permanent endowment from Gary and Diane Heavin of Waco, owners of Curves. The award is intended to emphasize the importance of philanthropy, ministry and community service among UMHB students.
“It is all about serving others.”
Theodore expects great things from both students and knows that classmates look to them as role models and inspiration.
He said, “Given what I know about them and their hearts, I would expect to see them continue to serve.”