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CBU Student Nationally Recognized for Community Service


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RIVERSIDE (Jan. 29, 2013)—Ellen DeGeneres recently recognized CBU student Reneisha Wilkes as Volunteer of the Year on the nationally-broadcast Ellen Show. DeGeneres presented Wilkes with a $10,000 check from Shutterfly and a certificate.

 “The amount of public service that you do is so impressive to me … so beautiful,” DeGeneres said on the Nov. 19 program as she presented the award.

 Wilkes is a senior communication major in the Online and Professional Studies Division. After graduation, she plans to continue her education at CBU in the master of public relations program. She previously appeared on the show in 2010 and received a volunteer of the month certificate, $10,000 and a new car.

Wilkes began a non-profit organization called Someone Helped Me at the age of 14, offering free transportation to senior citizens and veterans.

 “I love helping people,” Wilkes said in an e-mail describing her experience on The Ellen Show. “The ride share program was implemented when I started to receive so many letters from around the U.S. from veterans having a hard time finding rides. We help as many veterans as we possibly can get rides to their doctor appointments and to the grocery store.”

 The first $10,000 check went to help pay tuition, to her church and to buy Christmas toys for children. The second check went to a local charity and to help with her wedding in March.

 Wilkes says that anyone can assist those around them.

  “I would just tell young people and (everyone) in general to help others any time and in any way you can,” she advised. “You don't have to help people with money or material goods. You can help them by doing a good deed for them or saying a kind word. Help someone else, and you in turn will be blessed!”