A Montville resident and volunteer firefighter became the first freshman at Seton Hall to receive the Student Servant Leader Award.
Brielle Cook, 19, received the award for her volunteering within her community. She has volunteered at the Morristown Hospital NICU, in girl scouts, as Montville volunteer firefighter and recently became a Deacon in her local Montville Church.
“Seton Hall students are prepared to be leaders in their professional and community lives in a global society," according to the mission of the University, adding that the purpose of the Student Servant Leader Awards is to honor students who exemplify the ideals of servant leadership on and off campus.
“When I was younger, I got involved in girl scouts and that really launched community service throughout my life,” said Cook, who reached the highest girl scout status, a senior girl scout, and her gold award project was on Dysautonomia.
Cook was diagnosed with Dysautonomia, which is a dysfunction of your autonomic nervous system, according to Dysautonomia Youth Network.
“I was asked to represent the Montville Fire Department and was video interviewed on the campus premises prior to the award presentation regarding Brielle's work within the Fire Department,” said Carol DaCosta, of the Montville FD. “I have worked with Brielle for the past few years as a firefighter and she is a very dedicated and professional firefighter,” said DaCosta. “She performs many duties within the fire department to include - search and rescue, vehicle entrapment, hose lines, forced entry, and many others.”
Cook joined the fire department as a Junior Firefighter when she was 16 years old and attended the Morris County Police and Fire Academy where she earned her Firefighter 1 degree. At 18 years of age, Brielle became a regular full-time volunteer for the fire department, Company #1 in Montville.
“Service has always been a huge part of my family,” said Cook. “They have always instilled in me to give back to the community.”
She comes from a long line of public service family to include her mother Letitia Huffstutler (police officer), father Alan Cook (police officer/Firefighter), Step-father Rich Huffstutler (firefighter), as well as uncles and cousins within the fire department, according to DaCosta.
At 19, being a Deacon is impressive.
“If someone was feeling ill or if someone was lacking faith, it would be my job to reach out to them and make sure that they’re doing ok and instill faith in them again,” said Cook, of being a Deacon.
Cook is currently attending Seton Law to earn her nursing degree. The Ninth Annual Student Servant Leader Awards were announced in April.
“To come to a small university that has such foundations of giving back to the community and such a strong religious foundation that’s what my whole life is based off of,” said Cook.