The Athlete CRUSH College Impact Awards

We believe that athletes have the power to change the world.

College Impact Awards Logo

The Awards

The College Impact Awards recognize student-athletes from across the US who have displayed acts of selflessness worth sharing. Sharing these stories, accomplishments, and positive acts is key to prompting action from others. We want to start a movement where athletes use their platform and their positions to do good.

The idea for the College Impact Awards started when we realized the lack of recognition for student-athletes doing good. When it comes to philanthropy and charitable acts, everyone thinks of building schools and donating heaps of money. However, we think that there is so much more to it.

As Athlete CRUSH member Joonas recalls: “During my college days, I remember giving a t-shirt to a local neighbor and even signing my name on it. He smiled, told me he would sell it on eBay for a fortune when I become famous, and wore it regularly.”

Something as small as giving away a t-shirt, carrying someone’s groceries up the stairs, or volunteering an hour or two is making someone’s day and therefore the world a better place. There are many ways college students make a difference and we want to highlight them through the College Impact Awards. Apply for the College Impact Awards by submitting your story at the bottom of this page. 

Award Categories

College Impact Award recipients will have made a significant impact on the university, the community, or any others contribution to the world around them, through outstanding dedication, competence, selflessness, or leadership, as demonstrated by one or more of the following:

Lead LogoAsset 3

Lead Award

Consistently displays all the qualities of a good leader. Someone who everyone gets along with and feels comfortable approaching. This person is a leader on and off the field. They know how to push the people around them to be the best they can be. A highly respected individual who everyone trusts and can turn to in times of need.
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Catalyst Award

This is an individual who takes initiative to make a change. This is a person who gets involved with or starts initiatives to do good in their community or the world around them.
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RAK Award

The Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) is given to someone who has done something just out of their good nature. They did this good deed in order to be a good person and because they believed it was the right thing to do. Making someone’s day was, to them, the goal of this act.


Besides receiving a flashy plaque, each winner can nominate a cause or specific charity to which Athlete CRUSH will donate $531 in his/her name. 


Why $531? Glad you asked. 5 CRUSH attributes, 3 awards, 1 goal = Make the world a better place. 

Meet the Selection Committee

Mike Lahoud professional soccer player and NASL Humanitarian of the Year 2016.

Michael Lahoud

Cincinnati FC
Michael is a professional soccer player for Cincinnati FC and the Sierra Leone national team. He is an ambassador for Beyond Sport, and was awarded the FIFPro Merit Award in 2015 and the North American Soccer League's Humanitarian of the Year award in 2016 for his work building schools in Sierra Leone.
Sally Freedman

Sally Freedman

Sally is an Online Promotion Manager at UEFA. She previously worked as a Spectator Services Manager at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Head of Fan Engagement and Marketing for Melbourne City FC and Wellington Phoenix FC, Project Manager for Football Federation Australia, and the AFC Asian Cup Australia.
Joonas Jokinen Athlete CRUSH

Joonas Jokinen

Athlete CRUSH
Joonas is the operations manager at Athlete CRUSH. He capped for the Finnish National Soccer Team over 50 times (U15-20), played in England, Italy, Switzerland and Finland, was a student-athlete on the Temple University soccer team, and graduated summa cum laude with a major in Sport & Recreation Management and a minor in Business.

Nomination Process

Any current/former teammate, friend, coach, team staff member, professor or school administrator can submit nominations. Parents and siblings are encouraged to submit too! Self-nominations will be accepted and all nominations will be confidential. 

Eligibility & Criteria

The award is limited to those students who are/were student-athletes during the 2017/18 academic year. We accept applications from any division, sport, conference or college/university in the US. 

Click here for the evaluation criteria

Nomination Documents

  • One nomination form (max. 199 words).
  • Up to three photographs.
  • Any essential documents that provide evidence of the nominee’s excellence can also be included.
  • Including Twitter and Instagram handles is encouraged.


Submission: May 13th

Finalist shortlisted: June 13th

Winners announced: July 13th