Young community leader joins Canes

One family’s long University of Miami legacy will continue when the 2010 Top Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year enrolls for the fall.

Allison Novack was recently recognized with this award to celebrate her achievements as the top student-volunteer in all of the Miami Dade County Public School System.

Her father, Paul Novack, was the student government president at UM from 1979-1980. He is also the former mayor of Surfside, Fla.

Allison began volunteering because of her interest in politics. She campaigned with city officials and formed a children’s branch of her father’s volunteer group, Team Surfside. Team Surfside is a group of volunteers that participates in many public service projects in the community, including hurricane relief and family fun days for locals.

Novack has an extensive list of activities that she has participated in throughout high school that have had positive results for her community. The project she is most devoted to is 1308 Productions. Started by Novack’s older brother, 1308 is a non-profit organization that uses music to attract young people to benefit a philanthropic cause. It helps to provide opportunities for young bands to play and for young audiences to hear and enjoy. Most importantly, the organization is renown for being devoted to public service, music education and supporting the youth music scene in South Florida.

“It is run for kids, by kids,” Novack said.

She teamed up with the “Rock the Vote” campaign encouraging youth to register to vote during the 2008 presidential campaign. The organization hosted numerous concerts to get students to come out and vote.

“I like to make people happy,” she said. “People in the community need to speak up. If they have an idea, it can happen.”

Additionally, Novack organized a show that raised money for the United Service Organizations (USO) to aid American troops in Iraq.

She will be graduating from Miami Beach Senior High School this June. While attending UM, she plans on continuing her volunteer service despite the busy workload she plans to encounter. She mentioned that she wants to become involved with Hurricane Productions, a UM organization that hosts numerous acts, concerts and performances for the student body.

“She combined skills and interests to produce tremendous results,” Paul said.

Novack will be majoring in Communication Studies at the School of Communication.

It may seem like Novack is tied down by all her activities and achievements, but she’s still an average teenager. She finds time in her busy schedule to hang out with her friends and go to the gym.

“I like to exercise a lot,” she said.

In deciding to come to UM, Novack stated that the university’s diversity was a major selling point.

“You step on campus and see people from different cultures,” she said.

Olivia Woolbright may be contacted at

April 29, 2010


Olivia Woolbright

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.