School: St. Charles Preparatory School
Parish: St. Christopher
I have been an altar server for 9 years and a mentor for new altar servers. I help with the parish festival every summer–including set up and tear down, and in the last several years, I have been in charge of organizing and supervising grade school volunteers for trash pick up during the festival. I have helped with Lenten pasta dinners and vacation bible school. I help deliver Christmas food baskets for the needy. In 2014, I was named the Knights of Columbus “Youth of the Year” at St. Christopher. For my Eagle Scout project, I designed and installed outdoor Stations of the Cross for Trinity Catholic School and St. Christopher Parish.
Describe the service you have performed:
In addition to the above service to my parish, I spent a week in Nicaragua last summer on a mission trip with International Samaritan helping at a school to build a kitchen from the ground up as well as spending time with the kids playing and helping in the classrooms. Over the years, I have volunteered at the Run the Race Club playing with the children, helping to rebuild a house and play sets, and delivering Christmas food baskets and presents. As a Boy Scout, I have been involved in many troop service projects culminating in my Eagle Scout project. In 2011, I helped at the Down Syndrome Buddy Walk. Since 2010, I have helped place Memorial Day military flags on the graves of veterans at St. Joseph Cemetery. I have volunteered at youth football and baseball camps during my high school years. I have helped elderly neighbors by mowing lawns and shoveling snow.
Essay on the importance of service and giving back to the community:
A community is made up not only of your family, friends, and everyone close to you, but it also extends far beyond to your neighborhood, city, country, and world. When helping your community, you are not only helping people now but for generations to come, and that help doesn’t have to be big help because every little bit counts. Even a smile can make a difference. Giving back to the community and being a part of service isn’t to make you look good or to be flashy. Service is done in order to make someone’s day or life just a tad bit easier. When I participate in services projects or a mission trip, I go in with a positive attitude. With a positive attitude, I have a good time while helping other people. When you reach out to other people, sometimes what you receive in return is unexpected or surprising. For example, spending time with a senior citizen may allow them to share their life story with you which can be a positive experience for both of you. Sometimes service helps you more than the people you are serving. When I went on my mission trip to Nicaragua with some of my high school classmates, I didn’t know what to expect, but I went in with an open mind. I had no clue in the world what the kids were saying because they only spoke Spanish, but I knew from the looks on their little faces and all their happy smiles that they were thankful for our help and that I was making a difference. Service isn’t done to have glory for oneself but rather to give glory to God and to make his kingdom present to everyone you meet. My community grew immensely after being in Nicaragua, and I witnessed firsthand extreme poverty and suffering. When I came home, I began to realize how blessed I am and how important it is to share my blessings with others.