Sisters win the Presidents Distinguished Service Award

The Sargent Family at the 2019 PDSA Awards

The Sargent Family at the 2019 President's Distinguished Award Ceremony

A parent’s pride when their child - a graduating senior at Miami - is awarded the President’s Distinguished Service Award is extraordinary. The award is among Miami’s highest honors; only about 15 graduating seniors receive it each year. Only 1% of the class is even nominated, an honor in and of itself. Gerald and Amy Sargent, of Toledo, Ohio, know that pride well. Their daughters, Angela (2018) and Amanda (2019) received the award in back-to-back years.

“Wow. I was very happy. They have both worked so hard to accomplish what was in their hearts, which was to serve others, to make Miami a better place,” said Amy Sargent.

The President's Distinguished Service Award, coordinated through the Office of Parent and Family Programs, is presented to a select group of students whose service through campus life, community service, intellectual and cultural leadership, or as a university employee, demonstrates the spirit of being a citizen leader of uncommon quality.

Angela Sargent with award, with sister Amanda SargentAngela Sargent, with sister Amanda, at the 2018 award ceremony In 2018, Angela Sargent was recognized for her work with Miami’s Governmental Relations Network, founding the Miami chapter of the National Black Law Students Association, and serving on the President’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion. Angela moved to Washington, DC after graduation and currently works in Government Relations for the American Health Care Association.

When she heard her little sister Amanda was receiving the award in 2019, Angela was excited, but not surprised. “The skills I learned at Miami have been immediately applicable to real world situations and I am forever grateful that I chose to attend this wonderful place,” said Angela. “I know Amanda also took advantage of the many opportunities available and learned many similar skills.

Amanda Sargent also worked closely with the Governmental Relations Network, leading students who attending the 2017 presidential inauguration and the 2016 Democratic National Convention. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and served as a resident assistant for three years. After graduation this week, she is also headed to Washington, DC, where she plans to work for the federal government.

Amanda Sargent holding award at 2019 PDSA ceremony, with sister Angela. Amanda Sargent, with sister Angela, at the 2019 award ceremony“I chose to get involved so I could maximize my time at Miami,” said Amanda. “I made a promise to myself that by the time I graduated, I would be able to embody the saying ‘To think that in such a place, I led such a life.’ Opportunities and people at Miami have made this possible.”

Both Angela and Amanda attribute their success to their parents. “They raised Angela and I to lead by example,” said Amanda. “I can honestly say that we are who we are, and we do what we do because of the sacrifices that our parents have made and continue to make for us.”

“We’re so impressed with humble they are, throughout this whole process,” said Amy. “It’s a credit to Miami for their willingness to develop young minds to go out and change the world.”

Amy and Gerald Sargent have two sons as well. One is an engineer. Their youngest is a rising high school senior.