Blake Moskal, a junior from Lake Zurich, Illinois, has been selected to receive the 2014-2015 John Weidner Award for Altruism.
Moskal has been involved in a wide variety of service activities for local and national organizations, including the Intercollegiate YMCA, U.S. Dream Academy, Special Olympics, Gleaners Food Bank and Second Servings, and Methodist Hospital. He has served as a mentor and tutor for Indianapolis Public School students, a volunteer coordinator for Fall Creek Gardens, and Service and Philanthropy Chairman for Sigma Nu fraternity.
In his personal statement, Moskal said that his service has helped him “discover a new outlook on life.”
“We are all connected by the human element and everyone we encounter can teach us something,” he wrote. “It is the relationships built and the way you treat others that truly speak to one’s character.”
The Weidner award is named for John Weidner, a Dutch citizen and Seventh Day Adventist who, during World War II, saved the lives of about 1,000 British and American downed airmen, Jews, Dutch, Belgians and French fleeing Nazi persecution. Weidner was honored by five governments after the war and by the Holocaust Museum at its opening in 1993. After he died in Los Angeles in 1994, his widow, Naomi, started a foundation for honoring the altruistic spirit.
Moskal is studying Science, Technology and Society with a pre-med focus. His career plan includes medical school and, after that, he hopes to complete a residency, which will allow him to specialize. His current interests include orthopedics, cardiology, and neurology.