Last night the United Way had the great pleasure of honoring 11 students from public and private high schools for their commitment to our community through volunteerism. Their families attended the Celebration of Youth Service; principals and headmasters walked the stage with them; and Delegate David Toscano proudly shook hands with each one as he distributed the awards.
We received 20 nominations in all, and our review panel had the difficult task of picking ONE winner from each school. It amazed me that so many of these students volunteer dozens (if not hundreds) of hours each year while going to school full time, working part time, participating in sports or other extracurricular activities, and maintaining very high grade point averages. It is clear to me, that these are the leaders for our future.
Of course, as the Volunteer Center Director, it made me proud to read these stories of young people giving back – swinging a hammer, caring for animals, teaching peers about sexual assault. But even more, it comforted me as a parent of two small children. There is still hope that my girls, as they enter high school in 10 years, will find ways to be involved in good. In this age of drugs, STDs and I-64 shootings there are students who are making a difference in the lives of people around them. They are tutoring, mentoring and caring for people outside of MySpace or video games.
These are students who volunteer more than I do, have more passion than many adults I know. These are the students who have the self-initiative to improve lives and community. Let them be an inspiration for all of us. Read their stories on our Volunteer Center website: www.cvillevolunteer.org.
Congratulations to all of you. And THANK YOU.
Miruna Dumitriu, Albemarle High School
Claire Barry, Charlottesville High School
Brea Thomas, The Covenant School
Michael Pesca, Ivy Creek School
Jessica Hoy, The Miller School
M. Mayo Rives, Monticello High School
Katie Smith, Murray High School
Sydney Tenhundfeld, Renaissance School
Madison Jones, St. Anne's-Belfield School
Hannah Firdyiwek, Tandem Friends School
Alexandra Triana, Western Albemarle High School
Many thanks to the media who covered our story. Click each link to read or hear the story.
Posted by Shaele Wood.
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