Missouri Southern State University Names 2023 Outstanding Graduate

Image Credit: Curtis Almeter, Missouri Southern State University

(Joplin, MO) – “Why don’t we have that?” 

That is the question that Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) student Riley Laver was left asking when she first heard about The Green Bandana Project. 

Laver, an international business major and goalkeeper for the women’s soccer team, wanted to create a bridge between acknowledging that you need help and going to the people that are there to help. The Green Bandana Project accomplished precisely that goal. 

The Green Bandana Project is a mental health and suicide prevention initiative. Students wear a green bandana on their person to alert others that they are someone they can approach for help, whether it be a conversation or asking about on and off campus resources that are available. 

A couple of years after implementation, Laver now graduates from Missouri Southern as the 2023 Outstanding Graduate, knowing she helped bring this program to campus, but her accomplishments don’t stop there. 

Riley was also the 2022 recipient of the Dr. Al Cade Beacon of Hope Service Award. This recognition was earned through her volunteer efforts in the community and on campus. Her volunteer work in the community included time at Soul’s Harbor, Petco, Watered Gardens, the Joplin Humane Society, and at local churches. On campus, she was an Honors Program student who also served as a Lion Ambassador, captain of the women’s soccer team, a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, and vice president of the Student Athlete Advisory Council. 


University Relations & Marketing
Missouri Southern State University

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