Seton senior earns Presidential community service award - East Valley Tribune: Chandler

Seton senior earns Presidential community service award

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Posted: Saturday, December 21, 2013 11:30 am

Community service is part of the culture and a requirement at Seton Catholic High School, but Claire Evans took such service to another level this year.

Evans, a senior, earned the Presidential Volunteer Service Award after completing in excess of 250 hours of service in 2013, good for the gold level of the award.

“Claire is one of those kids who I’ve never seen down,” Seton assistant principal David Sorkin said. “Most kids, you can tell when they’re up or down. But she is such an optimist and has a zest for life.

“She is always looking for ways to help others and has taken to heart the Seton goals and fulfills Seton’s mission to its fullest.”

The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation was established in 2003 to recognize the contributions volunteers make in our communities and encourage more people to serve. The council created the President’s Volunteer Service Award program to honor Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service.

Seton requires its juniors and senior to complete 40 hours of community service each year. Evans expects to eclipse 275 hours by the end of 2013.

“I love seeing the look on peoples’ faces when they see a teenager helping out for a couple hours,” Evans said. “It brings me a lot of joy.”

Evans completed most of her service hours through the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership for Service Program. HOBY is recognized worldwide as one of the nation’s foremost youth leadership development organizations.

Evans, who lives in Gilbert, volunteered at Desert Rivers Audubon Society and St. Mary’s Food Bank, was a student mentor and student ambassador at Seton, was a preseason teacher at Temple Emanuel of Tempe (which eventually led to a job there) and sang the choir at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Mesa.

“You can see her affection for services rub off on her friends and other classmates,” Sorkin said. “She’s not doing these things all by herself in a corner.”

Evans kept track of her services hours as she earned them, a requirement of the President’s program. But to see the final number this month still took her back a bit.

“Time flies,” she said. “When I’m doing the service it doesn’t feel like I’m getting three hours for this for 45 minutes for that. It’s a big number, but I love doing it.”

Along with HOBY and the President’s Volunteer Service Award, the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Points of Light Institute recognized and certified Evans’ services hours.

“Claire has shared in the spirit of kindness and warmth of community through an immeasurable contribution of time and effort,” Javier La Fianza, HOBY’s president and CEO, wrote in a letter for Evans’ college admissions application.

Evans will attend the University of Arizona next year and wants to become a teacher, and eventually a school counselor.

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