ST. PAUL, Minn. -- If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then we should all get in line to emulate Brooks Dyroff.
The Boston College sophomore forward has been able to send over 40 Indonesian students to college over the last four years, the result of a not-for-profit organization called CEO 4 Teens, the brainchild of Dyroff and Kenny Haisfield, a childhood friend from Boulder, Colo.
For this and many other humanitarian deeds, Dyroff has been named the 16th recipient of the BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award in a ceremony at the Xcel Energy Center, site of the NCAA Men's Frozen Four.
Since its inception in 1996, the Hockey Humanitarian Award has sought to recognize college hockey student-athletes, Division I or III, male or female, who give back to their communities in the true humanitarian spirit.
Dyroff most certainly is an exemplary model of what the Foundation seeks to honor.
In Boulder, when he wasn't in the classroom or on the ice, Dyroff was always looking for someone to help. Along with Haisfield, Dyroff started working for community food banks, and made lunches for senior citizens and homeless shelters.
"We loved it," said Dyroff, who played at Phillips Andover. "It was also a tipping point for us. We thought maybe we could put something together all by ourselves."
Having returned from a family vacation in Indonesia, Haisfield shared with Dyroff all he had seen: struggling communities of close-knit families where deserving students were unable to go on to college to carve a better future for themselves due to lack of funds.
After much introspection, CEO 4 Teens (Creating Educational Opportunities For Teens; www.ceo4teens.com) was born. Its immediate goal was straightforward: to award at least ten college scholarships every year to deserving Indonesian students who attended Campuhan College in Bali, Indonesia.
Dyroff was a recruited walk-on to BC. Paying for school has been a challenge, and he has fought hard for his opportunities on ice. A parallel to his humanitarian works? In so many ways, yes.
"I'm trying to work my way up, just like the kids we're trying to help," said Dyroff, a Hockey East All Academic team member in 2009-10. "Many of them are last in the pecking order and don't have much of anything. Meeting these kids has been so helpful to me, and I want to make the most of the opportunity to make life easier for them."
He may not play every game, but Boston College coach Jerry York (Watertown, Mass.) said Dyroff makes a difference every day.
"When we were recruiting Chris Kreider from (Phillips) Andover, their coach (Dean Boylan) told me to take a look at Brooks," York said. "He said he would help our team in all different aspects, both on the ice and away from the rink, and he has more than done that. He brings an intangible to our team and embodies all we want from our student-athletes.
“We took a chance on Brooks," York continued, "and he's been very conscious of not only being a better hockey player, but being an example to others. He has a certain charisma, and he is more than deserving of this award."