Troy University named Dothan resident Ashley Calloway the winner of the inaugural Trojan Heart Challenge on Wednesday.
TROY Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., and his wife, Janice Hawkins, presented Calloway with a $1,000 check to be donated to the charity of her choice, the Dothan chapter of Chicktime, a nonprofit aimed at connecting women to volunteer opportunities in their communities.
Calloway, a senior at TROY’s Dothan Campus, started the Dothan Chicktime chapter in 2013 to help women and children who are escaping abusive situations. Today, she dedicates much of her time to helping the Alabama Baptist Children’s Home in Dothan.
“I’m a little overwhelmed, but I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am,” Calloway said. “Our ABCH babies are about to get spoiled. Anytime we have any type of donation like this, we always spend it on them to fund maybe a field trip, Christmas gifts or something to make their lives a little better.”
A selection committee chose Calloway from a field of 36 individuals who were nominated for the award, which goes to a student, faculty or staff member who embodies the “Trojan Heart” through acts of service or good deeds.
“You can think with your head, but you also need to be led by your heart,” said Hawkins Jr. “The world needs more givers like this.”
Candidates were selected based on four criteria: impact of a good deed, how emblematic the deed was of Troy University, sincerity of nomination, and deservedness of the award.
“Ashley has been such a leader and touchstone for women and children in need who are trying to escape abuse,” said Dr. Avery Livingston Stewart, coordinator of civic engagement. “The selection committee truly felt this was the most impactful thing they saw out of the 36 nominees.”