Jewell named Kindest School by Synergy Services

William Jewell College sign. Photo by Catherine Dema.

On Aug. 8, 2020, William Jewell College was named “Kindest School” during the 30th Annual Kansas Citian Awards hosted by Synergy Services, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping “families in crisis through a variety of programs… [that aim to] heal trauma and build resilience in individuals to build strong families and safe communities.”

The Annual Kansas Citian Awards are a celebration of the “power of kindness to create safer and stronger communities.” The winners of the Kansas Citian awards include institutions like Jewell, community members and students.

The winners are pillars of kindness because of their dedicated community leadership. Applications for these Kindness Citations are competitive – nominations occur through a “metro-wide essay contest with almost 5,000 submissions.”

Jewell received this accolade because of the institution’s work to provide engaging learning experiences for students who want to work in the social and civic realms. Specifically, Jewell was commended for its Pryor Leadership Studies program – a three year, experience-based program which seeks to inculcate participants with a wise and comprehensive personal leadership style. The program includes application of and reflection on leadership theory through a two-week sojourn to the Florida Everglades.

The program also includes participation in Pryor Legacy Projects. These projects allow students the opportunity to “encapsulate their entire leadership experiences in one group-focused project” aimed at benefiting the Kansas City community.

Kevin Shaffstall, director of the Pryor Leadership Studies Program, said that “to be recognized… [by Synergy Services was] truly humbling and inspiring. The Kindest School Award is Kansas City’s top honor for servant leadership, and to be a recipient for us as a college represents actualization of [the] college mission…”

Jewell, along with 20 other recipients of kindness citation awards, was honored at “The Celebration of Our Superheroes” event. This event was streamed to YouTube Aug. 8.

Bill Snyder, a Jewell alumni from the class of 1962, was also honored at the event. Snyder received the “Kindest Kansas Citian” award for his service to many local organizations and foundations aimed at mentoring young men. His efforts help to incentivize community growth, kindness and engagement.

Both Snyder and Jewell received a plaque from Synergy Services during the livestreamed event. These plaques had the names of those who had donated money to Synergy Services as a package donation. These donations are tributes to the honorees, such that they are aware that people are donating to worthy causes in their name. 

For more information regarding the Annual Kansas Citian Awards, visit

Agatha Echenique

Agatha Echenique is the Chief Editor for The Hilltop Monitor. He is a senior majoring in Oxbridge: History of Ideas and Philosophy. This is his third year on staff.

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