2013 Community Service Award winners recognized
The 2013 Community Service Awards were presented at the May 2nd Club meeting. The Exchange Club's Community Service Awards were created three years ago to recognize Needham High School freshmen, sophomores or juniors who have demonstrated a commitment to community service through clubs or organizations that serve our community.
Olivia Korostoff-Larsson and Emily Touchet, Youth Committee member Bill Dermody.
In 2011, Olivia Korostoff-Larsson & Emily Touchet founded the HOPE Club, for students interested in helping others and alleviating problems of homelessness and poverty in society.
The HOPE Club takes students on group trips to Rosie’ Place, a women’s homeless shelter in Boston. The two founders have personally volunteered approximately 150 hours at Rosie’s place, and organized annual book drives that this year collected over 3,000 books to support Rosie’s place and More than Words, an organization that works to support at-risk youth in the Boston area. The HOPE club’s 25 members are both raising awareness about the poverty that exists around us, and helping to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.
Tommy Kelley, Youth Committee member Bill Dermody, Youth Committee Chair Michael Greis.
Tommy Kelley created the Teen Diabetes Guide to help teenagers newly diagnosed with diabetes.
Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in the eighth grade at 14 years old, Tommy quickly learned that there is not enough of a support system for teenagers learning to live with this life-altering condition. He created a survey that over 50 young adults who were diagnosed as teenagers filled out, and then compiled their information into a pamphlet. As Tommy explained, “Diabetes changes your life. By showing newly diagnosed teenagers information that explains how others made it through that tough adjustment period, I hope to help them understand that they can lead a normal life even after being diagnosed.” Funds from the Exchange Club will pay for the printing of these pamphlets, and Tommy will distribute them to hospitals and doctors’ offices.
Jacqueline Arrondo, Youth Committee member Bill Dermody
Jacqueline Arrondo was the organizer of the town-wide Candlelight Vigil to show support for the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy.
Over 150 people attended the event, and as a result Needham was able to publicly support the people of Newtown Connecticut.
Jackie is also the chair of SALSA, Students Advocating Life without Substance Abuse. SALSA’s goal is to help rising 9th graders with the transition into high school by showing the many positive ways to be involved at Needham High School.
Alli Rubin, Youth Committee member Bill Dermody
Alli Rubin is co-chair of the Natick Youth in Philanthropy program, a program run by the Foundation for Metrowest. This group of 16 students meets twice monthly to learn about the meaning of philanthropy, including how non-profits function and the grant reviewing process.
The group is working towards a long-term fundraising effort to fulfill a youth-based non-profit’s grant request. Alli is personally focused on spreading the word about the Youth in Philanthropy program to other Needham High students, to increase membership and promote a lifelong commitment to philanthropic efforts.
In addition to recognizing and thanking the students for their commitment, the Needham Exchange Club is also proud to support the work of these students by making cash donations in their names to their organizations:
- $750 - Needham High School HOPE Club
- $250 - Printing and distribution of diabetes pamphlets
- $250 - Needham High School SALSA Club
- $250 - The Metrowest Foundation