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Patch featured Jacqueline Cassagnol in "Pace student Wins National Jefferson Award"


Patch featured Jacqueline Cassagnol in "Pace student Wins National Jefferson Award"

A Pace University doctoral student who founded an international first responder organization in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes in Haiti has won a 2020 Jefferson Award, a prestigious national honor that recognizes America's top change makers and ordinary citizens who are doing extraordinary acts of public service. 

In selecting Jacqueline Cassagnol for a National Award for Outstanding Public Service, Multiplying Good, the nonprofit organization that administers the Awards, cited the Rockland County resident's on-the-ground life-saving volunteer work in Haiti and her subsequent creation of Worldwide Community First Responder, Inc., which provides health education, first-aid and disaster preparedness training to people in the United States and Haiti. Since the organization was established in 2011, it has educated and trained more than 350,000 community members in critical life-saving skills.

Cassagnol, a doctoral candidate in nursing at Pace's College of Health Professions, is the first student from Pace to earn the national honor, and the third member of the Pace community. She joins an impressive list of people who have earned an award that is often considered the "Nobel Prize for Public Service." This year's other national winners include actress and activist Kristen Bell, Youth Villages CEO Patrick Lawler, and TOMS clothing brand.

A virtual ceremony was held Thursday evening and can be viewed here.

"I couldn't be prouder of Jacqueline Cassagnol's many accomplishments, now including becoming Pace University's first-ever student national Jefferson Award winner," said Pace President Marvin Krislov. "Pace students are committed to serving our community, and Jacqueline embodies that. I'm impressed and inspired by her leadership, hard work, and dedication. She is truly deserving of this great honor."

Over the past four decades, the list of Jefferson Award recipients has included hundreds of national figures — both public and private —more than 63,000 unsung heroes, and tens of thousands of employees and young people that represent the good that is happening in communities across the country. The list of winners includes an impressive who's who of cultural icons, political dignitaries and everyday community members and volunteers.

"For nearly 50 years, we've used recognition to inspire everyone to find a way to serve others," explained Hillary Schafer, CEO of Multiplying Good. "By celebrating service on a national stage, we elevate the spirit of America, the resiliency of its people, and the good that is all around us."

"Jefferson Award recipients represent the highest level of service to others," Schafer continued. "By telling their stories, we encourage them to do even more and inspire others to make a difference through service."

The Jefferson Awards is the nation's largest and longest-running awards ceremony honoring public service. The Awards, which are traditionally held twice a year at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., were entirely online this year. It was presented as a one-hour streaming video and aired a collection of inspiring stories that celebrate unparalleled service to others. It also included special recognition of One in a Million awards campaign winners who've had a positive impact through service in the face of crises. 

Read the full Patch article.