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UT Jefferson Award champion named, heading to Washington, D.C.

UT nursing student David Gosser played with Gavin, a child he worked with through the Autism Treatment Center’s Son-Rise Program last summer.

UT nursing student David Gosser played with Gavin, a child he worked with through the Autism Treatment Center’s Son-Rise Program last summer.

The Jefferson Award embodies public service and selflessness, two qualities displayed prominently in the 2012 champion for The University of Toledo — David Gosser.

Gosser, a fourth-year nursing student, dedicates most of his free time to helping those less fortunate. He identifies his Catholic faith as his biggest inspiration and uses it as his guide and motivation for his life of service.

“I have a responsibility to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to do whatever I can for all of us to reach our fullest potential in life,” Gosser said. “For some of us, the basic needs of food and clothing are not even met, and those must first be addressed before we can think about things like self-actualization.”

He has volunteered his time to help the homeless and others in need in the Toledo area, as well as raised money for countless organizations. He spent two of his spring breaks assisting those affected by Hurricane Katrina and serving the poor in Camden, N.J., the second poorest city in the United States.

Gosser was nominated by the Rev. James Bacik, who said that in his 50 years of working with college students, he was one of the most dedicated to service.

With that nomination, Gosser was the awardee last September and was named the 2012 champion at a luncheon Feb. 13.

“There are so many others out there, many of them my friends, who are doing such incredible things and do not get the same thanks for their service,” Gosser said. “But I understand that I have a role to play not only as a servant to others, but also as a role model. It is good that there is all this attention and recognition for this because, frankly, service needs to be in the spotlight in our world today.”

Gosser is invited to the Jefferson Awards national organization’s annual conference, which will take place in June in Washington, D.C. There he will have the chance to meet other champions and possibly be named a “top flight” honoree, which is a national champion.

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To nominate someone for a Jefferson Award, click here.

“Everyone can do something; all God asks of us is that we do the best we can with what we have,” Gosser said.

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