Tuesday, December 22, 2009
SC State University senior and criminal justice major, Sean Nimmons, recently received the 2009 Outstanding Student Award during the 16th Annual South Carolina Chapter of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice (SC-NABCJ) Conference held in Columbia, S.C.
Recognizing the disproportionate representation of African-Americans in South Carolina’s criminal justice system, SC-NABCJ is committed to active community involvement primarily in the area of prevention programs targeting at-risk youth. SC State University’s student chapter of NABCJ was the first of four to be established in the state of South Carolina.
During the one-day conference, Nimmons, who was presented with a plaque and a $100 check, said he was elated upon receiving the award. “I was very surprised and grateful when I found out that I won the award for the 2009 Outstanding Student of the Year,” said Nimmons. “This is a great honor for me and I hope to continue to excel in all of my efforts at SC State and within the local community,” he continued.
The 2009 Outstanding Student of the Year Award recognizes a criminal justice student who has demonstrated leadership, dedication and contribution to a NABCJ student chapter.
As president of SC State’s student chapter of NABCJ, Nimmons works diligently to coordinate University and community activities. Just recently, he and members of the student chapter served as moderators, monitors and registration volunteers during the 2009 Gang Prevention & Intervention Summit. The Summit addressed the overrepresentation of minority youth in South Carolina’s juvenile justice system, and included several workshops, panel discussions and open forums regarding gang intervention.
In spring 2009, the chapter developed a two-week food drive to assist less fortunate citizens of the community. The students collected non-perishable food items and monetary donations from SC State faculty, staff and students, which were then donated to Cooperative Church Ministries in Orangeburg, S.C. The students have also held community carwashes in efforts to raise money for the organization.Additionally, Nimmons consistently encourages and challenges other students to attend state conferences and participate in professional development sessions.
“Sean has brought a sense of purpose and focus to our student chapter,” said Giselle White-Perry, SC State Chapter advisor and assistant professor of criminal justice. “Not only have we seen a growth in membership, the level of participation in campus and community activities have increased as well. His quiet persistence has kept us moving toward making our chapter the best that it can be,” she continued.
Nimmons’ inspiration to help others, specifically youths, is one of many reasons why he decided to major in criminal justice at SC State. “Criminal justice is a broad field where you can choose from many careers that allow you to meet, interact and help different people,” exclaims Nimmons. “A lot of people have a negative perception of law enforcement and I would like to turn that around and change their perception,” he added.
Through the South Carolina Youth Advocate Program, Nimmons tutors ninth grade Spanish students at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School in Orangeburg, S.C. During the summer months, Nimmons serves as the boys’ assistant basketball coach at Orange Grove United Methodist Church in Bamberg, S.C.
Persistence is another trait exhibited by Nimmons as he commutes from his hometown of Bamberg, S.C. each day to attend classes and participate in other activities, a common practice since his freshman year at SC State.
In spring 2010, Nimmons will participate in an internship with the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia, S.C. Upon graduating in May 2010, he hopes to become a law enforcement officer and later become a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Agent.