Cypress College Student Recognized for Outstanding Community Service

A Cypress College student has won the Surfer of Distinction award for his outstanding contributions to the community. Then 18-year-old Andrew Baldwin was nominated for his humanitarian efforts to support the Navajo Nation during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Baldwin’s road to receiving the Surfer of Distinction award began with his Eagle Scout project in 2021. For the project, Baldwin successfully raised $19,600 in donations to provide humanitarian aid for the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. The aid included essential items such as flour, water, vegetables, and Spam, benefiting families in need within the community.

“My efforts to complete this project were recognized as a surfer of distinction since a hobby of mine is surfing,” said Baldwin. “The best of both worlds came together as I was able to help others with my project and be recognized as a surfer who bettered their community.”

Baldwin’s fundraising initiatives included launching a GoFundMe campaign, hosting a Navajo frybread pop-up event and collecting physical donations from large corporations such as Epson and Target. The diverse support allowed him to surpass his fundraising goal and contribute substantially to the well-being of the Navajo Nation.

Gloria Littlemouse (Diné), assistant professor at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, nominated Baldwin for the award and expressed gratitude for his service to the community. She nominated Baldwin, she said, to be sure his contributions to her community were recognized.

Littlemouse expressed her appreciation for Baldwin’s efforts, which improved the lives of Tohatchi residents. “His hard work and dedication to humanitarian causes during the challenging times of COVID-19 exemplify the spirit of human caring that is much-needed in this world,” said Littlemouse.

Although not a Navajo himself, Baldwin values his unique connection to the tribe.

“My godmother is of Navajo descent, and I have grown up surrounded by her culture my whole life, so it was only natural to give back to her community,” Baldwin said.

In addition to his humanitarian work, Baldwin is actively involved in the Orange County community. He serves as the student representative on the District Council on Budget and Facilities at the North Orange County Community College District (NOCCCD). He is also the Associated Students Senator at Cypress College.

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