Student honored for work with children

Psychology senior Cynthia Tsai said she hopes people will be inspired to do community service after reading her story. | Courtesy of Cynthia Tsai

The National Society of Collegiate Scholars in association with America’s Promise has recognized a UH student with a prestigious award for community service.

Psychology and pre-med senior Cynthia Tsai has been honored with the Scholar of Promise Award for her efforts in helping children who have suffered from abuse.  

 “I was really surprised and honored,” Tsai said, “I did it for the children.”

According to the NSCS Web site, to receive the award, a member must “complete at least 50 hours of youth-oriented community service within a 12-month period.” 

Tsai completed 318 hours of service between August 2008 and August 2009. 

Tsai began her service when she was offered an internship with Justice for Children, a non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of children who have endured various forms of physical, sexual or emotional abuse. As an intern, Tsai is responsible for answering the hotline, providing as much assistance as possible to the callers and keeping in touch with her assigned cases for changes in activity.

“I have become well equipped in maintaining patience with those in distress and showing empathy while obtaining the information necessary to analyze the situations and provide aid,” Tsai said.

Tsai said the experience was fulfilling, and that when she leaves the offices after a shift, she knows regardless of how little she feels, she contributed. Children and concerned relatives benefit from having someone to listen to their stories and give them the resources to establish a beneficial environment in which the children can be raised.

“My time with Justice for Children has enabled me to make a positive impact within the surrounding community and has reinforced my wish to work directly with those in need of help,” Tsai said.

Tsai will continue with community service and returns to Justice for Children once a month.  She hopes that others will follow her path.

“I hope it will bring recognition to UH and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars,” Tsai said, “I just hope it will help UH achieve tier-one status.”

Tsai will receive a pin, a letter signed by President Barack Obama and a certificate as part of her award.

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