Skip to Main Content

UNF recognizes two Caring Award recipients

The University of North Florida recognized two graduating Caring Award recipients at the spring 2022 commencement ceremony, the 2019 Caring Award recipient Kierra McCray and the 2020 recipient Analysse Gammon.

UNF awards the Caring Award annually and presents it upon graduation to a UNF student who embodies the spirit of caring, volunteerism, and humanitarianism. It is an exclusive honor for the bright, dedicated, and selfless individuals who strive to make the world a better place.

Kierra McCray2019 Caring Award recipient Kierra McCray

Kierra McCray is the founder of Purpose and PowHER Girls’ Summit, a nonprofit dedicated to changing the lives of girls who are academically at risk and from low-income, high-need areas of Jacksonville. The program aspires to educate, transform, and inspire young people through social programs and service. McCray mentors the young women with a focus on the “Five S’s” (self-esteem, skin care, success, supporting one another and self-love). In addition to dedicating most of her free time to the organization, McCray is also an educator and mentor and teaches violence prevention at the Duval Regional Detention Center. She also volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House, Feeding Northeast Florida and with GEAR UP. Kierra’s supervisor at the GEAR UP Program and Pearls of Perfection, Inc. describes her as a “model employee, a leader in the community, and an overall exceptional woman who is intrinsically motivated to impact those in her community, particularly young people.”


Analysse Gammon2020 Caring Award recipient Analysse Gammon

Analysse Gammon’s passion is volunteering with the intellectual/developmental disability community. Her passion stems from wanting to see more inclusion for people with disabilities. She began volunteering as a peer supporter in an ESE classroom and with the Special Olympics while in middle school. In high school, she co-started a Best Buddies Chapter to work with students who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. In college, Gammon joined the UNF Best Buddies Chapter and continued volunteering with Special Olympics. Gammon’s education instructor at UNF describes her as a “born teacher who is very energetic, organized, conscientious, and passionate about helping others.”

The UNF Caring Award winners receive a bronze sculpture created by the late Frank Eliscu, nationally known sculptor and designer of the Heisman Trophy, the Oval Office’s Presidential Eagle, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The Albert D. Ernest, Jr. Caring Award, established in 1992 by the friends of Albert D. Ernest, Jr. and Barnett Bank of Jacksonville, is a fitting tribute to a UNF student who displays the spirit of caring, humanitarianism and volunteerism for which Mr. Ernest is admired. Although his volunteer efforts are extensive, Mr. Ernest’s most significant contribution is his unique ability to empower others. Through personal example, he encourages others to develop a deep sense of caring about the people around them. His vision to see things as they should be and his ability to motivate and inspire those around him have resulted in untold positive changes.