Jackson Community College student earns coveted community service award
JACKSON, MI – Mention Jane Boyle’s name to her family, friends and teachers and one of the first things they’ll likely tell you is, “She’s a giver.”
This kind of commitment to service has earned her one of this year’s 31 Outstanding Community Impact Awards from the Michigan Campus Compact, a coalition of college and university presidents.
“Volunteering and community service has been a lifelong passion for me,” said Boyle, a graduate of Jackson Community College’s nursing program. “It’s a part of me and something I just love to do. the award is the icing on the cake. It’s an awesome honor.”
Boyle, 46, and her husband, Brian, have three children, Joshua, 27; Brianna, 22; and Maria, 20. when the kids were young, she was a stay-at-home mom who homeschooled all three children.
“when they were grown up and out on their own, it was my time to go to school,” she said. “Being a nurse has always been a dream of mine.”
Along the way, Boyle has put together a list of volunteer activities that nearly covers a full page of her award nomination form. Beneficiaries of her efforts include Jackson’s Redeemer Lutheran Church, Interfaith Shelter, Friendly Home, Aware Shelter; together We Can Make A Difference, Community Garden, and Jackson Community Baby.
At JCC, Boyle consistently made the Dean’s List and was in the Writing Fellows honors program. she had a lead role in the Cascades Revive the Pride College Initiative, which collected stories from local senior citizens about the early days of Cascade Falls Park.
The group also led the Cascades Renovation Project, which refurbished the small museum at the falls that honors the Cascades and industrialist William “Cap” Sparks, who donated the land on which the park and falls are located.
“I came to Jackson from South Bend, Ind., about 25 years ago, but I had no idea of the rich history here until these projects,” Boyle said. “It’s amazing to get to know different individuals from Jackson’s past and it’s awesome to see what they’ve done, especially with the Cascades. I always thought it was cool, but I didn’t realize the full legacy behind this gift.”
Boyle also worked on “Forging ahead: Jackson County Michigan during the Depression” traveling museum project and a Hillsdale oral history project.
“I had the Writing Fellows program for four years and she was involved in every single project we did,” said Diana Agy, professor of writing at JCC. “she didn’t do any of it for an award, and it’s satisfying to see a student who gives back without wanting recognition be rewarded like this.”
Boyle has transferred to Eastern Michigan University to finish her nursing degree and become a registered nurse. She’s also working part-time as a nurse in Allegiance Health’s personal care division, but says she still has plenty of time to keep serving the community.
“the good feelings I get in return for it just makes me want to contribute more,” she said.
Five other Jackson Community College students also received awards from the Michigan Campus Compact for their commitment to community service.
Heart and Soul Awards, which recognize students’ time, effort and personal commitment to their communities through service, went to:
• Adam Colvia of Jerome for his involvement in the Equestrian Outreach Center, Jackson County Youth Center, and Junior Achievement.
• Amanda R. Hood of Hillsdale for her work with Junior Achievement, the Salvation Army, Goodwill, Arbor Day Foundation and Alpha Omega Women’s Center.
• Robert Lombrana of Jackson for his work as a tutor and supplemental instructor who serves on several committees, including serving as student representative on the National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs executive board.
• Michelle Sprenkel of Munith and Amber Ward of Jackson for coordinating a winter clothing drive, participating in a pen pal program with refugees in Lansing and volunteering at Challenge Day and the Lyle Torrant Center. Ward also volunteered at local school districts and attended the Michigan Learn and Serve Leadership Camp in 2011.