When entering high school, many teachers and counselors will tell incoming freshmen that it is important to get involved in school. Volunteer opportunities may help students get into college, as well as provide a chance to receive more scholarships. As a freshman, it is hard to see that far into the future.
Senior year is already busy enough with a lot of activities and the pressure of choosing a college and applying for scholarships. However, senior Sasha Whitaker did not let the stressors of senior year impact the amount of volunteer work she did within her community.
Whitaker is a member of Class Council, National Honor Society, Career Technology Early Childhood Education Program and also takes AP and IB classes. On top of all of that, she still manages to volunteer outside of school events.
Whitaker volunteers with the Kettering and Moraine Civic Center, SICSA, Honor Flight Dayton and with The ALS Association.
National Volunteer week is April 7 through April 12 throughout the nation and is recognized in Kettering as well. Kettering’s Mayor, Don Patterson, awards people throughout the Kettering community who have a plethora of community service hours each year.
This award was established in 1983 and is handed out in April each year to one youth winner and one adult winner.
Whitaker and one other individual had the honor of receiving the 2019 Mayor’s Award for Kettering after excessively volunteering within the community.
“In order to receive this award, I had to exceptionally stand out in volunteering within the Kettering community,” Whitaker said.
Through volunteering, Whitaker has learned many valuable lessons. At SICSA, she takes in animals if they need a temporary home. With Honor Flight Dayton, she spends a day in Washington D.C. with veterans, showing them all the sights and landmarks. She has also been an active member of the ALS Association since 2005, ever since her grandmother died from ALS.
“I think volunteering gave me a good experience and a different outlook on things. It really just gave me experiences in different types of situations and with different types of people,” Whitaker said.
From working with kids through Kettering Early Childhood Education Center to working with the elderly through Honor Flight Dayton, Whitaker has had many different experiences which have helped her stand out, thus becoming a recipient of the Mayor’s Award.
“The Mayor’s Award came to me, I had no idea I was even going to get it and then they called,” Whitaker said.
Whitaker attended a city council meeting in April to accept her award.
“I was not expecting this award, but it’s very exciting, I have never done something like this before,” Whitaker said.
Whitaker plans to attend The Ohio State University in the fall to study Early Childhood Education, but also plans to continue volunteering in college as well.
For more information on this award, check out: https://www.ketteringoh.org/mayors-award/