University of Vermont

University Communications

Senior Business Major Honored by New England Patriots as 'Community MVP'

Kane Tobin and Robert Kraft
UVM senior Kane Tobin with Patriots owner Robert Kraft at an event honoring Myra Kraft Community MVP Award winners.

Kane Tobin, a senior in the School of Business Administration, was honored by the New England Patriots and owner Robert Kraft on June 9 at Gillette Stadium with the 2014 Myra Kraft Community MVP Award. He was given the award along with 26 other recipients who exemplify leadership, dedication and a commitment to improving their communities through volunteerism.

Tobin, a 28-year-old U.S. Army veteran who served as a crew chief and door gunner on UH-60 Blackhawks during deployments in Kandahar, Afghanistan and Tikrit, Iraq, won the award for his work with the Boys and Girls Club of Burlington, where he mentors a local high school student who grew up in a refugee camp in Tanzania prior to moving to Vermont. Tobin, whose $10,000 prize will support the Boys and Girls Club, helped his mentee gain acceptance to the University of Vermont, where he will enroll in the fall as the first member of his family to attend college.

“Volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club is my way of paying forward the years of help, guidance and support I have received in my own progression,” says Tobin, who credits his military experience with learning about the value of mentors. “We don’t volunteer for personal recognition; we volunteer because we believe our efforts will improve the lives of others. My selection as a Myra Kraft Community MVP is an incredible honor, but a greater lesson can be found within the organization itself. As we achieve success in our careers, we should never forget those who helped or those who also need that help. As a business student at the University of Vermont and an aspiring entrepreneur, I have always looked to the Krafts and the New England Patriots organization as the example we should all follow – never forget where you came from, remember who helped you get to where you are, and then use your own success to create a positive, lasting impact on the greater community so others can pursue their own success.”

Tobin says his experiences growing up in an abusive home and lacking the positive impact of a role model spurred him to action as an adult mentor. After dropping out of high school at the age of 17, he eventually graduated and found guidance and mentorship in the military. He later moved to Vermont and enrolled at the Community College of Vermont with the goal of gaining acceptance to UVM, which he did two years ago. Since then, Tobin has started UVMentors to recruit volunteers and potential mentors to help give back to the Boys and Girls Club; helped Nursing and Health Sciences market the faculty practice clinic in Burlington’s Old North End; volunteers in UVM’s Physical Plant Department; started two businesses; and somehow found time to make the dean’s list.

“Some people look to athletes, firemen, or politicians for inspiration,” says Tobin. “For years, I have looked to the Krafts, specifically Mr. Robert Kraft, as my example in both business and community service. When people ask why I am a Patriots fan, the answer is always the same. It has little to do with the championships or the winning. Instead it is because of how the organization uses its prominent place in New England to continuously create a positive impact in the community and raise awareness for causes in need of championing, independent of how relatable to football that cause may be.”