Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. -- Dr. Seuss
With those words from The Lorax, Dr. Seuss reminds us that it is up to each and every one of us to create positive change in our world.Yesterday we recognized local high school students for their community service. Their energy, enthusiasm, commitment, optimism and determination are inspirational and encouraging for those of us who wonder if the next generation is up to the job. They certainly are!
These young people embody what it means to Live United - to reach out a hand to one and influence the condition of all.
Adrienne Lee Smith — William Monroe High School, Grade 12
Adrienne has been on mission trips to Philadelphia, Chesapeake and Nashville, while also volunteered within her own community of Greene County. From caring for inner city youths at a day camp to working with inmates recently released from jail, she has contributed over 700 hours of service during high school. In May, she will travel to the Philippines for two weeks to work in a special needs orphanage.
Andrew Haynes — Charlottesville High School, Grade 12
Andrew is the Key Club President at Charlottesville High School. He has organized Key Club events, such as bake sales and food drives. Determined to recruit members and keep members engaged, he regularly sends out emails and updates the club’s Facebook page and bulletin board. He even attended Freshman Night before school started to encourage younger students to sign up for the club.
Andrew Lee — The Miller School, Grade 12 Andrew became a Resident Assistant as a sophomore, spending personal time to maintain, develop and fill the needs in a dormitory. He founded the Economics Club to join three different school stores (Bistro, School Store, Concession Stand) under one umbrella to improve their efficiency. He also serves as a member of the Athletic Management Team, working with the Athletic Director and Athletic Trainer to host games and prepare the sports teams.
Benjamin Scott — Fluvanna County High School, Grade 12 Benjamin has volunteered during the summer with friends from his church with Impact Virginia! since 2007. He has served as a Team Leader, ensuring that his group was organized and ready for assignments such as replacing roofs, building handicapped accessible ramps and painting. Benjamin is also a volunteer with the Palmyra Volunteer Fire Department and has attended Fire/EMT training classes at CATEC.
Cody Burnley — Nelson County High School, Grade 12 Cody is a volunteer with the Lovingston Fire Department. This year, an organized service learning program kicked off in Nelson County and Cody has been instrumental in the launch of the program. He has provided testimonials about his volunteer work to student clubs and his testimonial at the kick-off assembly for the program recruited two more student volunteers for Lovingston Fire Department.
Danielle Horridge — Albemarle High School, Grade 10
Danielle has volunteered at Martha Jefferson Hospital, Rosewood Assisted Living and with her Young Life group. She started an annual Random Acts of Kindness Day at her school and will soon start making presentations to middle school students after being trained in the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. She serves as Key Club Vice President, Peer Mentor, Peer Tutor, People to People Student Ambassador and member of the School Improvement Committee.
Emily Ludwick — Monticello High School, Grade 10
Emily founded the Operation Smile Club at Clara Byrd Baker Elementary and Berkeley Middle School. She participated in Miles for Smiles and raised enough money for one child to receive a free surgery. She volunteers for PACEM and as an Assistant Stage Manager with The Giver at LiveArts. She also works with her youth group to package meals for the family of UVA patients without money for food.
Josh Dick — Murray High School, Grade 10
Josh has been on three mission trips to New Orleans to assist in the rebuilding efforts after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. In addition to the mission trips, he spends time cleaning up litter in his community. He also makes Thanksgiving meals to give to people without food during the holiday season. Josh is an active volunteer through both his church and his family.
Kate Moody — Tandem Friends School, Grade 10
Kate co-founded a chapter of Habitat for Humanity’s Youth United at Tandem. Youth United’s goal is to raise enough money to build an entirely “Youth United-funded” home in Charlottesville. She is working to organize an ACT SPEAK BUILD Week at Tandem, to educate her schoolmates about Habitat’s mission. She and her partner have initiated two fundraisers for Habitat and lead meetings with fellow students during lunch.
Maddy Wilson — Renaissance School, Grade 10
Maddy founded a chapter of Kiva at the Renaissance School. Kiva is a nonprofit organization striving to alleviate poverty by giving people the power to create opportunity. She rallied for support of the micro-lending foundation by holding fundraisers, which nearly every student patronized. She takes pride in the way the club accumulates money to lend to people with business initiative around the world.
Nicole Muller — Western Albemarle High School, Grade 12
Nicole founded a national food drive initiative called Neighbors-4-Beighbors, which has become an annual event and spread throughout all 50 states. She has secured over 63,000 pounds of food (more than 30 tons), helping to feed 52,000 people across the country. Additionally, she is one of only four student council leaders on the board of the national organization, Schools Fighting Hunger.
Nicole Ross — Math, Engineering and Science Academy, Grade 11
Nicole recently went on a mission trip to Mandeville, Jamaica with her church through an organization called Son Servants. During the ten day trip, Nicole helped to start building a house for a family and spent time visiting a local nursing home. Nicole and her group developed personal relationships with the people in Jamaica by sharing stories, praying and listening to them. She has also been on a mission trip to Jacksonville.
Olivia Gathright — The Covenant School, Grade 10
Olivia founded the Pillow Project to provide new, comfortable pillows to the senior citizens of Mountainside Assisted Living in Crozet, Virginia. The project will bring two new pillows to each of the 106 residents of Mountainside Assisted Living. Olivia has already spent at least 50 hours on this specific project. Once the goal has been reached, the profits will be passed on to JABA so that the appropriate pillows can be purchased.
Scott Cho — St. Anne’s Belfield School, Grade 12
Scott has worked as a junior volunteer with both Martha Jefferson Hospital and Trinity Mission Nursing Home. At the hospital, he helped nurses by completing tasks that kept the working conditions neat and organized. While volunteering with Trinity Mission Nursing Home, he entertained and developed personal relationships with several residents by playing games with them.
Posted by Kim Connolly