Alyssa Despotis

Bachelor of Arts Candidate in Mathematics, Arts & Sciences, Class of 2021

Even though Alyssa has accomplished so much, she is one of the most humble individuals that we have ever met. When reading the list of characteristics for award honorees, it is hard to identify traits that do not describe Alyssa. She is extremely thoughtful and kind, and the best way to describe her would in fact be that she ‘goes above and beyond.’ If she knew we were nominating her, she would laugh and suggest that other candidates would certainly have made a greater impact than her, as she doesn’t see her involvements as charity; service and altruism are so ingrained in who she is.

Ethic of Service Award Nomination

Alyssa is a 2017 graduate of Westminster Christian Academy. She is a senior studying mathematics at Washington University with minors in Computer Science and Speech & Hearing Sciences. During her time at Washington University, she has participated in various extracurricular activities some of which include Residential Advisor, Washington University Figure Skating Team, and Give Thanks Give Back.  

In her first year of college, Alyssa learned about the “100 Neediest Cases” initiative, a gift drive sponsored by United Way and the St. Louis Post Dispatch, which helps thousands of local families and individuals. As a sophomore, Alyssa became President of Give Thanks Give Back, a club whose mission is to connect the St. Louis community with Washington University. Each year the club organizes a gift drive recruiting Washington University departments, clubs, organizations, sports teams, and student groups to sponsor a family and provide gifts and essentials over the holiday season.  

During her time as President, she has worked with a dedicated executive board that helped expand the club’s outreach. The club went from sponsoring 69 individuals in 2017 to nearly 200 this past year. Each year, they have over 60 groups participating as sponsors. Alyssa is grateful for the partnership with the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, the 100 Neediest Cases, and the overwhelming generosity of the Washington University community.