Established in 1999, this award is presented to graduates for continued involvement in their community, faith community, helping organization, the College or the Alumni Association.
On the other side of the world, in a village in Kenya, Jessica Tripp discovered a universal language: a smile.
"No translation was needed," she said.
Tripp was in Kenya in March 2019 as part of a church mission trip designed to deliver 400 water filters to local villages. The filters provided access to clean water for an estimated 2,500 people and will last up to a decade, she said.
While she learned a few conversational phrases in Swahili, Tripp said the smiles, laughter and hugs communicated plenty.
"My passion is working with children," Tripp said. "I love the sound of children giggling and laughter."
Tripp learned the impact of community engagement at an early age.
As a young girl, she watched her father help families receive financial assistance through his work with the Department of Children and Family Services, and witnessed her mother tirelessly give of her time and energy in her role as a high school teacher.
"Their love of helping others rubbed off on me," Tripp said.
Tripp majored in consumer economics with an emphasis in financial planning during her time at FACS.
Since graduating in 2004, she has held various roles in the real estate industry, and currently serves as director of risk management for RangeWater Real Estate Residential in Atlanta.
Her love for UGA and the college has only deepened since she left Athens.
Tripp has served on the FACS Alumni Association Board of Directors, and visits campus regularly as a guest speaker and discussion panel participant in housing courses.
She also has mentored three FACS students interested in working in the housing industry, reviewing resumes, helping them with interview preparation and offering professionalism advice.
"I have always wanted to lead with a servant heart," Tripp said. "The best way to be a leader is to inspire others and lead by example."
Through her involvement with the Atlanta Apartment Association, Tripp was part of a campaign that donated enough money and canned food to provide more than 8 million meals.
"She truly finds joy in helping others and watching them reach their full potential," said Tracy Bowers, managing director at RangeWater Real Estate. "She's all about giving back."
Tripp's passion and accomplishments have brought her considerable recognition.
She recently was named a member of the 2019-20 Institute of Real Estate Management Next Generation of Leaders at its annual summit and received the Extra Mile Award from the Atlanta Apartment Association.
"Jessica is a true light on any dark day," Bowers said. "We are all better for knowing her, and our company is a brighter, more vibrant place because of her."