Meet Sarah Rosen, a winner of the 2016 UNF Caring Award

Jordan Perez

Sarah Rosen, winner of the 2016 Albert D Ernest Jr. Caring Award. Photo by Jordan Perez
Sarah Rosen, winner of the 2016 Albert D Ernest Jr. Caring Award.
Photo by Jordan Perez

When UNF student Sarah Rosen was chosen as one of two winners for the Albert D Ernest Jr. Caring Award, it came as an unexpected surprise for her.

“I didn’t know what to say when they told me I won,” Rosen said.

The annual award, which UNF established in 1992, is given to a student who exemplifies the qualities of caring, humanitarianism, and volunteerism. This year, students Sarah Rosen and Chelsey Cain were selected to receive the award. The winners were able to donate money to a charity of their choice, in addition to receiving a trophy created by the designer of the Heisman Trophy.

After winning the award, Rosen said her devotion to volunteer and service work might have been the reason why the judges highly considered her among the other nominees.

“I don’t do any of it to get recognized,” said Rosen, “and I think that’s what might have stood out.”

A recent highlight of Rosen’s volunteer experience was her cross-country cycling trip last summer with Bike & Build. As a way to further raise funds for her trip, she set up a stationary bike set and accepted donations at UNF’s weekly Market Days.

Once it was time for her to hit the pavement, she led a group of cyclists throughout different cities, helping organizations like Habitat for Humanity and the St. Bernard’s Project in New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina victims. The trip’s goal was to raise money for affordable housing and food donations for the people those organizations help. The group ended up raising $50,000, with Rosen raising $8,000.

Rosen has dedicated time for a list of other organizations, such as Jacksonville World Relief, where she helped a Burmese family resettle into the United States. Rosen has also been involved in UNF’s Model United Nations, the Interfaith Center and the Volunteer Center on campus.

Sarah Rosen Tanzania
Rosen said Tanzania was her favorite place to visit out of all of the countries she’s been to so far. Photo courtesy Sarah Rosen

When Rosen is not working toward degrees in international relations and Spanish, she enjoys traveling. Rosen has visited several countries such as Israel, Tanzania and Costa Rica. Even outside of the country, Rosen makes it a point to get involved with the local community. She plans on studying abroad in Spain in the spring 2016 semester.

She said her experiences have taught her to never take advantage of her education.

“It’s absolutely essential for me to help people,” Rosen said. Witnessing progress through her efforts of fundraising and volunteering helps drive her to do more within her work.

Rosen said she aspires to continue helping people on a local level, but also wants to help people on a global level.

“It’s my dream to work for an agency within the United Nations,” Rosen said.

When it comes to encouraging others to volunteer, Sarah Rosen advised students to consider the extra time they have in their daily schedule to help others out.

“No matter where you are in life, I think it can always be worse,” she said, “I think it’s important for people to be selfless and help others who aren’t as fortunate as you.”

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