Photo by: John Buckingham
College of the Holy Cross senior and member of the men’s hockey program Jeffrey Reppucci, of Newburyport, Mass., has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award.
The Hockey Humanitarian Award is presented annually to college hockey’s finest citizen. According to the Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation, the award seeks “not to celebrate Hall of Fame athletes, but rather Hall of Fame of human beings.” The inaugural recipient of the award in 1996 was J.P. McKersie of Boston University.
“Jeff is a remarkable young man who will do great things his entire life,” said Holy Cross head men’s hockey coach Paul Pearl. “He is the embodiment of what we want a Holy Cross hockey player to be.”
Reppucci, a Russian major, is the founder and president of the 501(c)3 non-profit organization Students Helping Children Across Borders. He has led the organization to design, fundraise and execute over $125,000 worth of infrastructural development projects and community programming in five different countries (United States, Russia, Argentina, Haiti and Uganda). He designed and implemented a $22,000 community-building project in Suzdal, Russia, centered on fighting alcoholism in children through sports/recreation infrastructure and programming. Reppucci raised funds for and built a $5,000 home for a family in an underdeveloped neighborhood through a partnership with an Argentinian NGO and many student groups. He also developed wellness resources for the children in the community. Reppucci launched a $12,000 youth empowerment program at the IDEJEN School in Jeremie, Haiti, where 80 Haitian students are working together to build a commercial soccer field and launch the community’s first organized youth soccer league.
He is also the founder and executive director of Working for Worcester, where Holy Cross is located. Last year the project mobilized 540 college students from seven Worcester area colleges and universities to construct over $62,000 worth of infrastructural improvements (two playgrounds, three community gardens, four basketball courts, one school cafeteria, one commercial dance studio, one teen recreation lounge, one outdoor classroom, one food pantry and four new walking trails) at 12 of the city’s recreation spaces. This year’s project currently has 1000+ registered volunteers and is set for April 12.
Reppucci is a 2013 Truman Scholar and a 2013 Rhodes Scholarship Finalist. A three-time member of the Atlantic Hockey All-Academic team, Reppucci won a 2012 Katherine Wasserman Davis Fellowship for the Study of Critical Languages, awarded to students who demonstrate a potential for promoting peace on an international scale. Reppucci also won a 2012 Davis 100 Projects for Peace Grant, which is awarded for a service project that promotes peace. He earned a 2012-2013 Marshal Fund Grant for community development, awarded for student ambition to promote community development in Worcester. Reppucci also won a $10,000 Desmaris Scholarship for Academic and Community Leadership, a $6,000 Dana Scholarship for Academic Excellence and Leadership and a $3,000 McCarthy Scholarship for Exceptional Academic Achievement.
“Being a hockey player is an attitude,” said Reppucci. “Since the first time that I put on skates, hockey has taught me about teamwork, community, and responsibility. Also, so much of the work that I have been able to do has been a result of the tremendous support of the hockey community! The connections between the game we love and the communities that we play for are what make hockey players, at all levels, citizens and athletes.”
In addition to his three seasons with the Holy Cross varsity team, Reppucci was a student assistant coach for his senior year because of an injury. Reppucci played in 61 games, tallying 24 points through four goals and 20 assists. His 16 assists as a freshman in 2010-2011 tied for fifth among rookies and tied for seventh among defensemen in Division I history at the school. He was named to the Atlantic Hockey All-Rookie team and was named Atlantic Hockey’s Rookie of the Week twice during the 2010-2011 season.
This was the second year that Reppucci was named a finalist for the Hockey Humanitarian Award. The other finalists for this year’s award were senior defenseman Alyssa Gagliardi from Cornell, senior forward Danielle Rancourt from Vermont, senior goalie Joe Rogers from Notre Dame and senior forward Jocelyn Simpson from Colgate.
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