Yesterday we introduced you to the first of our two Face Forward Service Award winners, Cara Shaver. Today we are featuring our second recipient, Jonathan Eskay Zins. Jonathan is a Senior at St. Charles Preparatory School and has quite an extensive list of service activities that he has been involved with over the last several years.
Jonathan, a member of the St. Brigid of Kildare Youth Group and has been active in leading the group as a Core Leadership Team leader. He has participated in over 450 hours of service activities including Bridge Team, retreat leader and speaker, the International Samaritan Service trip to Nicaragua and many more. Jonathan has been a guest on the St. Gabriel Radio program “Raising Saints” as a panelist discussing how to help parents raise teens in a challenging culture. He services as a Eucharistic Minister and Alter Server at St. Brigid as well.
Jonathan’s service extends outside of the church where he is heavily involved in the Muscular Dystrophy Association as a Camp Counselor working for the last three years one-on-one with a 12-year-old boy named Isaiah. He founded the Ken Golunka Scholarship in 2011, assists the St. Brendan school principal with the CARTEENS program, volunteers at The James Cancer Hospital, is active in his 4-H club and much, much more.
Here is a look at Jonathan’s essay on the importance of service and giving back to the community.
“The most important reason for service and giving back to the community is to show my appreciation to God for all He has given me and to honor Him by using my gifts and talents to benefit others. The past two summers, as a counselor for the Muscular Dystrophy Camp, I helped Isaiah, my camper, with a smile because I was able to. Talking to Isaiah made me think about how blessed I truly am and changed the way I think of myself. Now I am thankful every day for little things that are easy to take for granted, like getting a snack or taking a shower without assistance. The second most important reason for service is to leave the world a better place than I found it. Creating a scholarship in memory of a friend’s father who passed away suddenly has allowed me to see the healing effects that this small effort has provided to my friend’s family and has given me true joy.This happiness is contagious. It feels really good to be able to give back and make someone’s day a little brighter and easier. It makes my life more worthwhile. Finally, I feel that we each have a responsibility to the future. Striving to leave the world a better place, gives me hope and allows me to have an optimistic view of life. This hope allows me to look toward the future instead of dwelling on my present troubles. I frequently invite friends to join me in serving the community. The domino effect of each person striving to leave the world a better place would have far-reaching effects to improve the lives of all people. I will continue to look for opportunities to help others and give back to my community in college and beyond.”