By Emma Kerr, For the Daily
Published October 9, 2013
Life in a wheelchair can be difficult on a college campus, but one fraternity brother hopes to change that reality.
LSA junior Nicholas Guys has received national recognition for his work with the disabled community on campus.
Guys, who is the philanthropy chairman of the University's chapter of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, organized events with Push America, an organization that fosters service leadership through its work with those affected by disabilities. In September, Guys received the Thomas Sayre Award, which honors the most outstanding Push America chairman.
Serving as the Push America chairman since 2011, Guys organizes charity events, including the annual Wheel in their Shoes 5K that took place on campus last month. Also in September, he organized the Greek Week Push America Relay, a new program.
Guys said the Greek Week event gave people the opportunity to imagine living with reliance on wheelchairs for mobility while fundraising for Push America.
This fundraiser was the first Greek Week event in the chapter’s history. Along with other events this year, the chapter raised $6,630 for Push America under Guys’ leadership.
Pi Kappa Phi also holds an annual disability awareness dinner where students, faculty and brothers listen to keynote speakers and participate in an open conversation about living with disabilities.
Guys said the University’s chapter of Pi Kappa Phi regularly works to “make our own campus more accessible and accepting of people with disabilities.”
Pi Kappa Phi has worked to create relationships with local community members in need, specifically through the Eisenhower Center, where the brothers regularly visit people suffering from traumatic brain injuries, forging personal connections with clients at the center through games and events.
“It really affects the brothers to see that appreciation for doing something as simple as playing games, talking and having a meaningful conversation, and how much of a meaning that has with the clients we work with at Eisenhower,” Guys said.
Mark Timmes, chief executive officer of the national Pi Kappa Phi chapter, said in a statement that he is proud of Guys’s charitable work.
“Nicholas’s efforts in serving people with disabilities exemplify him as a leader by choice,” Timmes said. “We are happy to recognize him for his outstanding work he has done for Push America, the Alpha Kappa chapter and his university.”