Josue E. “Sway” Nunez, a first-year graduate student at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work, is a national service award semifinalist for Washington Campus Compact and Inspireum’s 2010 Students In Service Awards.
Nunez is in the top 50 semifinalists for his innovative fundraising approaches in support of rehabilitation programs for individuals with mental illness. The award recognizes outstanding college students whose volunteer service positively impacts society and inspires others to serve. Nunez is also up for fan favorite, which is determined by online voting.
Nunez is a dedicated fundraiser for the support and awareness of psychosocial rehabilitation programs for people with mental illness. He created and led a campaign, Miles for Mental Health, to raise money for the nonprofit Hale O Honolulu Clubhouse, one of 400 clubhouses in more than 30 countries that provide employment, continuing education, social and wellness education and everyday life skills.
The 30-year-old Wahiawa resident says he is working on turning his project into a nonprofit organization to help support and fund the 10 clubhouses in Hawaiʻi.
“Sway resonates with an energetic can-do spirit that is palpable. He embodies the values and practice of social work through his service to and advocacy for those who struggle with mental disorders,” says Mari Ono, his graduate program academic advisor.
Vote for your favorite student and service project through March 3. A national selection committee will choose the 2011 winner and runner-up; the fan favorite will be determined at by supporter vote. Search for the student’s name at www.serviceawards.org/sis/semifinalists.aspx to vote for Josue Nunez or his fellow semifinalists, UH Mānoa student Man Ling Lam, who volunteers with foster youth support program Out Reach for Grieving Youth Alliance, or Kapiʻolani Community College student Jessica Mattos, who works with interfaith caregivers program Project Dana.