Will Sullivan

Will Sullivan is this the spotlight this week for our Ordinary Teens, Extraordinary Things series. Read on to learn more about Will and his dedication to service in our community.

Parish: Immaculate Conception and St. Thomas More Newman Center

School: Bishop Watterson

Service Involvement:

For the past three years, I have sorted recyclable goods from the trash cans in the cafeteria. I am also the committee chair of Green Committee on Student Council. In this position, I am trying my best to make Bishop Watterson an environmentally friendly and clean school. Also, because we all love Mr. Reiss, a science teacher at Bishop Watterson who was recently diagnosed with cancer, and we were so thankful for his time and effort he gave to Watterson, I designed and purchased a plaque to be presented to him at our all-school Mass on October 5th. I did this because Mr. Reiss has impacted me positively in so many ways. He especially inspired me by living a Christ-like way of life, providing service in any way he can. Because of this I wanted to provide more service to others and to live as much as I can the way Jesus had lived, by helping anyone in need. I also believe the plaque will mean so much to Mr. Reiss and he will forever cherish it. It may also be something he can remember that can give him hope and strength when he is about to start a new treatment or whenever he is feeling down.

My service in my local community has been:

  • Coaching Special Olympics track and field.
  • As a member of the Boy Scouts, my troop placed flags on the graves of veterans who are buried at Union Cemetery
  • I’ve assisted with the troop’s food drive; and have helped many other boys complete their Eagle Scout projects.
  • Every year, I have volunteered at the Immaculate Conception Festival selling soda pop for the parish.
  • I volunteered at Hope Hollow in April, while there I scrubbed dirt off the walls of the building.
  • I worked 25 hours a week, from early June to August, for the past two summers, at St. Andrew parish doing maintenance jobs, such as repairing AC units, sanitizing chairs and desks, and moving heavy furniture and supplies for the teachers and students to have ready when school started. I also work for Sullivan Lawn and Landscape, where I have worked roughly four to 12 hours a week for the past three years.

In my global community, I planned and lead an 750-hour Eagle Scout service project (I spent a minimum of 250 hours of my time on the project). The service project involved planning and constructing a “Ga-Ga ball” pit for underprivileged kids in West Virginia. 

What does service mean to you? How does your involvement in your parish and community foster a stronger relationship with Jesus?

I want my life to be about helping and serving others. Part of who I am is to put others first. Perhaps, in part, it is a principal desire of mine to humbly offer a way to help those in need to have a better life and to support their having a more meaningful future. Throughout my scouting and high school career I have used my gifts and talent to serve through student leadership, athletics, and in cultivating skills and interest in design, photography and cooking. 

The value of service in my life has been truly wonderful. I feel best when I have helped another person or persons. At Special Olympics, for example, it was rewarding knowing that I was contributing to the success of the Special Olympians. I enjoyed being part of their group, and felt that not only was I helping the Olympians, but they helped me, too, by increasing my understanding of disabilities, deepening my compassion and humility, and making me feel that I was truly doing the work that Jesus calls us to do.

The most important service project to me, though, was building the Ga-Ga ball pit, deep in Appalachia in WV. The impact of the Ga-Ga ball pit has been truly incredible–the hundreds of kids at the camp this summer loved it, and it is now a vital part of the camp. For me, the pit is bigger than just a mere game: It is a form of exercising; an opportunity to learn sportsmanship, and how to follow rules; and, most importantly, it became an escape from many of the realities suffered by the kids at camp, including being abused and neglected.

Read more Ordinary Teens, Extraordinary Things stories.