A student who gives back to the community will soon be recognized as February’s Jefferson Award winner. And guidance counselor Dina McMillan, who heads the school’s committee, is on the lookout for just who that student might be.
“The Jefferson Award recognizes famous people, politicians, athletes, and stars who are giving back to their communities,” she said. “The goal is to recognize students who were doing amazing volunteer activities.”
Monthly recipients of the award are chosen based on nominations by their classmates and their number of service hours. Each high school grade has two students on the Jefferson Award committee that helps choose the winner.
“Me and my friend volunteer at this environmental center. We put on a benefit concert with local bands,” said freshman Olivia Humphry, a previous recipient of the award.
Winners of the award receive recognition at a ceremony at the end of the year, and sometimes the award comes with money.
“We also established a Community Service Scholarship last year for $500 for a West Shore senior who provided outstanding service in our community,” McMillan said.
Once winners are chosen, the committee surprises them in their classrooms with a Jefferson Award pin and a gift card. Their picture is also put in the Jefferson window display outside the guidance office.
“Many of our students don’t just do their service hours because they have to, but because it makes them feel good to help others,” McMillan said. “These are the people we want to give a shoutout and say ‘thanks.’”
By Addie Steele