Student’s dedication to helping others earns Jefferson Award

May 2, 2014 | Features, UToday
By Samantha Watson

When Hannah Konnagan first heard of Circle K International from a friend, she had no idea what it was. Now as vice president of membership of the organization at The University of Toledo, she has completed hundreds of hours of community service with fellow members.

UT President Lloyd Jacobs presented Hannah Konnagan with one of the University's monthly Jefferson Awards.

UT President Lloyd Jacobs presented Hannah Konnagan with one of the University’s monthly Jefferson Awards.

Circle K is an organization based on community service, leadership development and fellowship. At UT, the chapter regularly works with initiatives like Bethany House, a shelter for mothers and children who are victims of domestic violence; Food for Thought, a program that provides provisions to Toledo’s poor; and Paws and Whiskers, an all-feline, no-kill shelter in Toledo.

Konnagan, a Middletown, Ohio, native, was raised to help others and does so frequently through her church.

After moving to Toledo for school, Konnagan began working at Subway, where she had two regular customers — two best friends named Chuck and Dave. One night while working, Konnagan found out that Dave, who is homeless, was robbed of every personal belonging he had while waiting for the bus.

Without hesitation, Konnagan went to the store and bought Dave some new clothes.

“It wasn’t much, but just to see the change on his face when somebody would go out of their way to do something like that for him, it made a big difference,” Konnagan said. “He didn’t even call the police because he didn’t think they would care. Sometimes caring is all it takes to make a difference.”

Chuck, who helps Dave when he can, was so moved by Konnagan’s actions that he nominated her for a UT Jefferson Award, which she recently received.

“It really took me by surprise,” Konnagan said. “But it feels good to be rewarded for the service work that you do.”

For more information about UT’s Circle K chapter, contact Konnagan at

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