Clearview High School
Aderonke began volunteering because of a desire to improve her community while positively shaping her life. As a member of the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance, she has worked to raise awareness about violence against the LGBTQ community, and as a member of the Mental Health Awareness Club, she has created informational bulletin boards and a social media campaign to remove the stigma of mental illness. Aderonke is also a member of the school’s National Honor Society, and has volunteered for park clean-ups, tutoring students and volunteered at various community events, including Lights on Main. Her biggest community service project, which she developed, is the Clearview Culture Fair, where students experience the cultures of 14 nations. Aderonke is looking forward to expanding her service outreach in the years ahead.
As a child growing up, James knew he wanted to serve others, especially in sports-related volunteer activities. As a volunteer for TopSports, he worked with children having physical or intellectual disabilities, giving them an opportunity to participate in sports. Throughout high school, he has attended numerous youth football camps volunteering to help children through various football drills and games. He has also donated many hours to his church, where he has helped with trash clean-ups, sanctuary cleaning, preparing meals for the hungry and collecting food for the pantry. One of his most-loved volunteer activities is Operation Christmas Child, which allows him to work with his family every year, gathering and filling shoeboxes to donate to children living in poverty throughout the world. James plans to continue serving others as he transitions to college.
Delsea Regional High School
Rebecca is grateful for the opportunity to serve her community and to watch it thrive. As a member of the Army JROTC, she participates in Franklin Township Day and, along with her fellow JROTC members, runs the operation of one of the main tents and oversees such activities as the monster truck show, bouncy house, glow stick arena and Chinese auction. Rebecca’s commitment to her community is also expressed by her participation in Delsea Regional’s Thanksgiving Breakfast, which benefits veterans and elderly residents. When she attends college in the fall, she plans to seek opportunities to serve the college community.
Travis credits community service with helping him to become a responsible young man and finds great satisfaction in serving his community in many ways. He has taken part in Operation Christmas Child, sending gifts to needy children all over the word, donated clothing to shelters and raised money on his own by seeking donations for the poor. One of his happiest memories is of a visit to a local veterans home where he performed in a talent show and then played bingo with the residents. Travis also teaches Sunday School and enjoys working with the children. He is deeply committed to community service and its positive impact on his life.
Deptford Township High School
Gianna’s desire to volunteer began as a child when she was inspired by her mother to help others. Her love for community service has grown through such activities as community cleanup and volunteering at Thomas Jefferson Hospital, Nemours DuPont’s Toys for Tots campaign and its Summer Atrium event. She has volunteered at the Wheelchair Man Company and at St. Margaret’s carnival, given lessons on drug and alcohol prevention to elementary school students and made blankets for children confined to hospitals. She finds that her volunteering has given her an opportunity to appreciate her environment and to understand what it means to be a person of good character.
Connor is grateful for the opportunity to serve his community and to make it a better place. He has volunteered in many ways, including participating in his school’s marching band home show and street cleanup. From a young age up to and including his freshman year in high school, he has volunteered at Kennedy University Hospital, now Jefferson Washington Township. His volunteer work in the hospital pharmacy has influenced his choice to pursue a career in that field. Serving his community is Connor’s way of giving back and helping it to become a better place.
Gateway Regional High School
Grace was raised to always think of others first. Along with her family, she has handed out blankets and food to the homeless on the streets of Philadelphia. During winter, she volunteers at her church to collect clothing and food for families in need. Grace particularly looks forward to purchasing toys and clothing during the holiday season, and with members of her French Club, bringing these gifts to children at a local child development center. As a member of the National Honor Society, she has participated in many food drives. She has also enjoyed visiting nursing homes to perform with her school band and volunteers for Bayada. Grace plans to continue to pursue community service activities.
Community service is an important part of Thomas’ life. Through the National Honor Society, he has volunteered to help with the harvest fairs, tutoring, baking for retirement homes and school fundraisers. The most meaningful volunteer activities for him come through his church. Thomas participates in the annual 30-hour Famine, an event sponsored by World Vision, which raises awareness of hunger around the work. As part of the event, he has helped package 10,000 meals, which are shipped overseas to needy countries. He has also volunteered at animal shelters and Seeds of Hope in Camden, NJ, and distributed meals to the homeless in Philadelphia. For one week each summer, he travels to various parts of the country to help restore buildings in communities in need. Thomas finds community service to be something more than just logging in hours, but as something extremely important to him.
Glassboro High School
Alexis describes community service as a deed completed by a good person. She has learned through volunteering that one person can make a difference in the lives of others. Her volunteer activities include distributing food to residents of Glassboro who are registered at the Samaritan House, overseeing children at the local elementary school while their parents attend meetings and participating in an Easter egg hunt for the town. As a Girl Scout, she helped each year at community clean-ups. Recently she volunteered for Glassboro’s senior citizens dinner, Toys for Tots and at her local pet store. Alexis considers volunteering as a way to share her time and talent with others.
Morgan’s interest in volunteering was inspired by her mother, who took her along to various volunteer activities. She seeks volunteer activities in all parts of her life. In high school, she participated in such volunteer projects as an Alex’s lemonade stand at school, raising money to eradicate polio and making and selling necklaces to the student body to raise money for Syrian refugees. Through this activity, Morgan felt herself as a part of something much bigger than herself. She continues to volunteer as often as she can and is hoping to make a difference in the world by pursuing future projects.
Kingsway Regional High School
Alexis’ love of volunteering began with her school’s homerun derby, held in honor of Ryan K. Iannelli, a Kingway graduate who passed away while serving our country. This experience inspired her to volunteer for a service project teaching elderly nursing home residents to use their cell phones to connect with family members. During the summer of her sophomore and junior years, she volunteered at Jefferson Hospital’s physical therapy department where she assisted the therapists with clerical duties and later was given more responsibilities, including assisting patients with ice and heat therapy. Alexis has also volunteered for the Unified Physical Education Program, which creates an inclusive environment for special needs students. Volunteering has taught her that even small actions can make a significant impact upon others.
Jason’s volunteering began as a 7th grade student when he became a buddy for TOPS Sports, a community-based program where volunteers assist special needs children in practicing and participating in sports. During his first year with TOPS, he was assigned to buddy a young boy who was quiet, shy and hard to motivate. The season started with Jason and the student kicking a soccer ball back and forth in silence. As the season progressed, the child opened to him and became involved in conversations. Jason says he has learned as much from the children involved in TOPS as they have from him.
Our Lady Of Mercy Academy
Maris describes volunteering as a rewarding and spiritual experience created to unite others to fill the needs of the less fortunate. During the summer, she volunteers to assist teachers as they prepare for the coming school year. She has also helped coach local lacrosse and tennis camps. At the start of high school, Maris was a member of Best Buddies International, an organization which promotes inclusion of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has also donated time to the Red Cross and Purses for a Purpose, which Maris recalls as her most memorable and rewarding experience. She looks forward to continuing to serve others during her college years and beyond.
Paulsboro High School
Selena Nicole Chila
Selena learned at a young age the importance of being kind and helpful to others. As a first grader she became a Girl Scout and has found many opportunities to serve others from assembling food baskets for local churches, preparing meals at the Ronald McDonald House in Camden, placing wreaths at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery and participating in community clean-ups. She credits her parents, teachers, coaches and troop leaders for inspiring her to become a volunteer. As she entered high school, Selena realized her responsibility to volunteer for school activities and for non-profit organizations, including Big Brothers/Big Sister and the Fellowship for Christian Athletes. She describes making a difference in the lives of others to be a blessing.
Pheneus loves volunteering and uses it as an opportunity to grow. His care for his community has led him to log many volunteering hours. Summer is spent at the Boys and Girls Club where he enjoys working with the young members and helping to lead them in the right direction in life. Despite being involved in four sports at school, he finds the time to participate in many volunteer activities, including Big Brothers/ Big Sisters, counseling under classmates and visiting the local elementary school to talk to the fourth-grade class about the importance leading a good life. He credits community service for making him the young man that he is today and feels lucky for each opportunity to serve others.
Washington Township High School
Katelyn C. VanMater
The words, “service above self” have inspired Katelyn from the time she was a young girl. Her parents nurtured her love of volunteering as she accompanied them to community outreach programs, including volunteering at an animal shelter, distributing food to the homeless and collecting clothes for the needy. She has served on eleven mission trips and her activities range from volunteering at her local fire station, Special Olympics, the Red Cross blood drive, Mothers Cupboard food drive, along with many other good causes. Katelyn’s family founded Our Faithful Provisions, a non-profit organization, which provides meals to families in Haiti. She derives the most joy in putting others before herself and is planning to pursue a career in the United Nations, where she hopes to one day become an ambassador to a third world county.
A volunteering inspiration awoke Daniel at 2:00 one morning. The idea was so strong that he texted his class advisor. Daniel had observed his fellow students cleaning out their lockers at the end of each school year, trashing everything despite its condition. This sparked the idea to set up bins throughout the school to collect used school supplies. As a result of Daniel’s action, the program has collected more than five thousand dollars’ worth of school supplies, which have been redistributed to students in the school district. Daniel credits this event as expanding his leadership abilities and has given him the pleasure of doing something significant for others. He will continue to text ideas as they awaken him in the hours before dawn.
Williamstown High School
Alexandra takes great pride in the many community service projects that she has participated in through the National Honor Society. One of her favorites is the Adopt a Family program, which is run during the holiday season. She has also volunteered at an MS marathon and at a fundraiser for victims of addiction and abuse. She enjoys baking special treats and bringing them to a group home for children and is planning to start a coat and luggage drive for children in foster care. Alexandra plans to continue with her volunteer activities in the years ahead.
Tyler challenges himself to be the best person he possibly can and uses volunteer projects to reach that goal. His activities include the raising of $2,500 to purchase blankets for senior citizens living in senior homes and plans to also extend the project to the homeless and children in foster care. He is currently working on creating a non-profit organization to give away blankets to all in need. As president of the student council and president of the allied health academy and as a member of the National Honor Society he has participated in many events, including the Red Cross Blood drive, volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House and mentoring special needs students. He finds most rewarding mentoring special needs children with whom he has developed strong and close relationships. One of his favorite projects was teaching them to dance to their favorite songs and showcasing them to the entire school. Tyler looks forward to continuing to challenge himself in the future.