Liberty News

Senior given February Champion Award for selfless actions

March 2, 2018 : Liberty University News Service

Throughout her career at Liberty University, people who know February Champion Award winner and senior human services major Ali Curtis say her Christ-centric lifestyle has always been on full display.

The Champion Award was introduced last fall as a way to recognize those in Liberty’s community who demonstrate champion-like characteristics and the fruit of the Spirit, which are at the heart of both Liberty’s mission and the We The Champions project.

Curtis had to make a life-altering decision last year when her mother gave birth to her baby brother, Ryan, in November 2016. In order to make sure her mother could keep working, Curtis decided to move back home to help her mother care after Ryan. For Curtis, putting her family over her personal plans was a no-brainer.

“Moving home to be with him and to help my mom, who is raising him on her own, was the easiest decision to make,” Curtis said. “But there were several obstacles to overcome before it was possible. God’s hand was so clearly in all of it, as He provided an answer to each prayer.”

Even with her departure from Liberty’s campus, Curtis said Liberty was able to help her transition into being an online student so that she could continue her degree while at home. Although she admits it was a challenge at times, she said the experience was more than fulfilling.

“During this time, I was doing my classwork during baby Ryan’s naps, and it gave me a fairly good glimpse at the exhaustion that is ‘mamahood’ while continuing to pursue an education,” Curtis said. “But exhaustion isn’t where it stops; it is also the most rewarding thing that I have ever been blessed to be a part of.”

Now that Curtis is back on Liberty’s campus to finish out her degree, she serves as a part-time caregiver for two brothers who have autism, something she says is rewarding.

In March, Curtis will spend her spring break traveling with LU Send to Rwanda, taking part in various service projects and children’s ministries, while also learning about Rwandan culture. For her, spending a week serving a community facing significant hardship outweighs the allure of a traditional spring break.

And later, in August, Curtis will begin her travels to 11 countries in 11 months with the World Race — an opportunity described by the organization as “a stretching journey to serve ‘the least of these’ while among real and raw community.”

For her dedicated service to her friends, family, and God, even in the face of adversity, Curtis has exemplified the characteristics of a Champion for Christ, making her a clear choice for February’s Champion Award for many that know her.

Throughout the academic year, students, faculty, and staff will have the opportunity to nominate someone they feel is living out the character traits of a champion. One individual will receive The Champion Award each month.

To nominate a Liberty student, faculty, or staff member for the Champion Award, email their name and story to WeTheChampions@liberty.edu or fill out the online form on the We The Champions webpage.

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