Fundraising professionals tap two at LSU for key awards
December 22, 2010
By Darla Martin Tucker
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – (www.lasierra.edu) For 20-year-old graduate student Jaylene Chung, aiding those in need is a priority and focus. It matters not whether one person or hundreds are helped in her view, and she hopes to inspire those with resources to take on a similar mindset.
The La Sierra University student is aiming for a career in humanitarian or philanthropic work and has already established a substantive resume of activities that have raised thousands of dollars and aided hundreds. As an added bonus, she’ll be able to jump into her field earlier than most, thanks to a strong work ethic and keen intellect that allowed her to graduate high school at age 13. She attended Pacific Union College and enrolled in La Sierra’s Master of Business Administration program at an age when most students are just starting college.
On Nov. 17, 2010, at Riverside’s Mission Inn, the Inland Empire Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals awarded Chung with the Youth Volunteer of the Year award as a result of her accomplishments over the past months. Those activities included the organization a multi-event fundraiser through a REVO chapter she started. The fundraiser brought in $23,000 for an orphanage in Rwanda. Chung has also volunteered as La Sierra’s short-term missions director and helped at least 50 students travel overseas and within the United States to serve others. This year she will direct a mission trip to Rwanda.
La Sierra’s Office of Advancement nominated Chung for the award, which was among several the fundraising association handed out as part of its National Philanthropy Day celebration. “Whatever organization she works for will be fortunate to have someone who is so in tune with philanthropy and humanitarian concerns,” the department wrote in its nomination letter.
Chung said she was honored and surprised “to be even just nominated for the award. That my school thought I qualified to get the award was enough. When I first found out I was the winner I think I screamed a little because I was so surprised.”
Chung’s interest in nonprofit and humanitarian work came about through her efforts to establish a REVO chapter on campus after her arrival here, and through her involvement in a philanthropy course as part of the MBA program. REVO, based in Hilo, Hawaii, is a movement that helps individuals find ways of raising money for their charitable causes. Its motto is “start a revolution, start with love.”
Chung was involved in Pacific Union’s REVO chapter and wanted to bring the movement to La Sierra. After setting up the chapter, she organized a REVO fundraiser to benefit the Gakoni orphanage in Rwanda. The fundraiser included performances by several music groups, an art exhibit and auction and fashion show with student-designed clothing lines. The effort involved coordinating dozens of volunteers.
“I’m interested in humanitarian work, as well as philanthropy, and I know those two are a good combination,” Chung said of her future plans. “... So I guess we'll see where that takes me. I didn't initially enroll in the MBA program to pursue nonprofit work, but after I did all the work with REVO and kind of got hit with that bug, I thought, ‘yeah, this is it.’ I actually happened to be enrolled in the philanthropy course with Jim Erickson as I was planning for REVO, and that helped me a lot, both practically and philosophically,” she said.
La Sierra was doubly honored during the fundraising professionals award ceremonies. Erickson, renowned fundraising expert, director of La Sierra’s Center for Philanthropy and philanthropy course instructor, was recognized as the Volunteer of the Year. The award honors an individual who has made a significant impact on the success of nonprofit organizations through their volunteer service and/or volunteer leadership, according to the fundraising professionals association.
Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge nominated Erickson for the honor. Erickson has decades of experience raising millions in the University of California system where he served as vice chancellor for advancement and executive director of the UC Riverside Foundation. He spearheaded successful campaigns to aid local and national disasters and most recently headed the Community Foundation Serving Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
In typical magnanimous form, Erickson, rather than address is own award, spoke of his respect for Chung and her commitment to aiding others. “I’ve been so impressed with Jaylene, not only as an outstanding student, but as a tremendous role model for other students,” he said. “She exemplifies the values of what a La Sierra student should be. I’m honored to be recognized in a program that honored her.”
La Sierra nominated another representative, alumna Sylvia Davis, for the Volunteer of the Year award. Her extensive contributions include serving at La Sierra University on its alumni board and in various fundraising capacities, at the Loma Linda University Foundation and the Loma Linda University Church.
After graduating from La Sierra College some 40 years ago she and her late husband, Jerry Davis, started and continued for 12 years an annual class newsletter, connecting former classmates and their families. Sylvia Davis co-founded an endowed family scholarship at La Sierra and has been a member of Big Hearts for Little Hearts, the Loma Linda Guild of the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital Foundation. In addition to these and other activities that have benefited many, she found time to tutor elementary school students in Redlands.
PR Contact: Larry Becker
Executive Director of University Relations
La Sierra University