Three Indian Hills Middle School students have achieved a milestone in their dedication to community service and each has taken a different path to the accomplishment.
Eighth-graders Azul Aguirre, Shelby Winter and Caden Gird have each been awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award for community service. The award requires more than 100 hours of community service in a year, which they more than surpassed. The students each received a letter from President Barack Obama, along with a certificate, thanking them for their service.
Each of the students have a different primary passion for giving back to the community even if it is not the sole contribution. For Winter it is a commitment to Pet Connection where she has been spending five hours every Sunday working with dogs to get them ready for adoption. “Animals’ lives are at stake,” she said of her dedication to the project. She also is rewarded by the connection to the community.
It is a connection to history that has driven Gird’s volunteer work. His hours at the Alexander Majors House and the John Wornall House Museum and work with their summer camps is his major focus. “I’m kind of a history buff,” he said. “I find joy in seeing that I can give back to my community through volunteering.”
The Cedar Roe Library has been the destination for Aguirre’s volunteer work. Bilingual herself, she helps with displays for people who speak Spanish. It is especially the ability to assist with the bilingual and Spanish-speaking community that gives her satisfaction in her volunteer work.
Indian Hills Principal Scott Sherman said that each of the three students started on their volunteer work on their own when they were in sixth grade. “It’s an incredible quality for these kids to be so intrinsically motivated (to service),” he said.