Jones-Lipsey received MCC’s Outstanding Community Impact Award, which recognizes her significant contributions to NOW. The nonprofit management major has a strong history in activism and had volunteered for the YWCA and Grand Valley’s Women’s Center.
Ashley Nickels, assistant director at the Women’s Center, connected Jones-Lipsey to NOW, where she then secured an internship.
During her internship, Jones-Lipsey coordinated a protest against a national organization that promoted reparative therapy and researched NOW chapter incorporation. Members of the Grand Rapids Chapter of NOW encouraged Jones-Lipsey to run for an office and she now serves as secretary for the chapter.
“In my 12 months of service to NOW-GR, I have done community organizing, event planning, administrative work, research and fundraising for this organization,” she said. “It has been an very influential part of my life and I am blessed to have been given the opportunity.”
Jones-Lipsey said she was surprised by the MCC award, “but it affirms my hard work and the mentorship I was receiving.” She also added that it stresses the importance of community service at the master’s degree level.
“It was a challenge to stay involved in the community when I had so many other pressures on my time,” she said. “To know that my hard work was recognized by a statewide organization inspires me to work even harder.”