Last week, you met the first five of our Scholarship America Dollars for Scholars Student Volunteer Award winners: outstanding students who earned $1,000 awards for embodying the spirit of volunteerism in our Dollars for Scholars communities. We’re pleased to introduce you to seven more of these remarkable students today!
The importance of education has always been a driving force in Paula’s life. She has always been an avid learner, and with the aid of her mother, was able to read her first book by the time she was 14 months old. Currently, a high school senior from Tucson, Arizona, Paula plans on pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education after high school. She believes that as an educator, she can “instill a love of learning and give children an early head start in life – making a difference in their lives.” Currently, she spends her time volunteering at local libraries and schools, providing other youth with the same educational opportunities provided to her; she was nominated for the award by the Sunnyside District Alumni Association Dollars for Scholars affiliate.
Savannah has always had a passion for sports and volunteering. She has been an active volunteer for Special Olympics, Junior Olympic Volleyball and community education camps for school-aged children. When someone very close to her became pregnant at an early age, Savannah began to understand the importance of planning for her future. After seeing the effects it had on her friend’s academic and future goals, Savannah found a new drive to succeed in hers. After graduation, she plans on pursuing a degree in Special Education to continue her lifelong passion of helping those with special needs. Savannah, currently a high school senior, is from Nevis, Minnesota, and was nominated by Nevis-Pam Lindow Foundation Dollars for Scholars.
Benjamin, from Mendota Heights, Minnesota, has been an active volunteer in a variety of organizations. As the Vice President of Key Club, a student volunteer organization dedicated to community service, he has “learned to be proactive to improve people’s lives by planning and implementing community service projects.” His passion for literature has also led to volunteer opportunities for the school newspaper and book club. Through his writing, he hopes to inform and educate others about the current events and issues within his community. Benjamin, nominated by Henry Sibley Dollars for Scholars, is a recipient of a Scholarship America Staff Award, and he plans on pursuing his literary degree after high school.
Kelandra, a college sophomore from Easthampton, Massachusetts, has always been passionate about helping out those in need -- including animals. Since the age of eight, Kelandra has been volunteering at the local humane society. She has also been actively involved in youth camps, survival centers and after-school childcare programs. She is currently pursuing a social science degree and highly interested in gender and women’s studies, community activism and social justice issues. Nominated for this award by Easthampton Dollars for Scholars, Kelandra’s ultimate goal is to work within a nonprofit organization that focuses on adolescent girls in underserved areas, where she can help to provide them with skills for the future.
Mikaela, a college freshman from Easthampton, Massachusetts, has volunteered her time throughout the years by working with youth, underprivileged families and shelter animals. She has worked on several community service projects, which include preparing meals at local shelters and cleaning vegetables for the local food bank. Mikaela understands the importance of the daily struggle for many to afford everyday necessities, and she strives to help those families out by donating her time and support. When she’s not volunteering at the shelter or survival center, she spends her time volunteering as a crew team member, teaching kayaking and rowing lessons to children and adults. Like her sister Kelandra, she was nominated by Easthampton Dollars for Scholars.
Thomas “Mitchell” Lee
Mitchell, a high school senior from Edwards, Colorado, has taken on many opportunities to volunteer his time, seek new experiences and learn more about a wide array of topics. After dealing with constant bullying while in middle school, he learned to make the best out of a bad situation. He emerged with a newfound sense of strength and a new outlook on life. “I learned that turning a negative into a positive is the only way to go,” he said. Mitchell, nominated by Youth Foundation Dollars for Scholars, has remained extremely motivated, seeking more personal growth through volunteering. He enjoys giving back to his community, and has spent numerous hours as a volunteer tutor for local youth.
Holden’s embrace of community service is truly remarkable. A high school senior from Walworth, New York, Holden wrote in his scholarship application, “I believe that the world needs more compassionate people if we want a brighter place to live.” He has helped organize and execute fundraisers and events, including the local American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. He has also spent countless hours as a member and camp counselor for the Boy Scouts of America; there, he was able to work with a variety of students, including those with special needs. Holden, nominated by Gananda Dollars for Scholars, is also truly passionate about music and hopes to share his love of music with the world by pursuing a college degree in Music Education.
Thanks to post co-author Lynelle Hubbard!