Red Mountain, Westwood seniors win Student Community Service Awards
Red Mountain High School's Robin Jackson, and Westwood High School's Katrina Clontz, Hanna Morgan and Jessica Yan have won scholarships from the Mesa Citizen of the Year Association.
Red Mountain High School's Robin Jackson, and Westwood High School's Katrina Clontz, Hanna Morgan and Jessica Yan have been awarded Student Community Service Awards from Mesa Citizen of the Year Association. Each student received a $1,000 scholarship. Eligible candidates must complete at least 150 service hours during high school and demonstrate a commitment to lifelong community service.
"It's important to recognize the great volunteer work being done by Mesa Public Schools students," says an association spokesperson. "They're helping with city programs, nonprofits and other important community outreach in an exemplary manner. As an association, we want to do more to promote volunteerism in our youth to develop our community leaders of the future."
Jackson plans to attend University of Michigan's School of Nursing. She hopes to become a nurse practitioner, a goal inspired in part by volunteering at Banner Baywood Medical Center and Heritage Village Assisted Living Center. She is a member of Link Crew, Club Diversity, varsity pom and National Honor Society, and represents Red Mountain High School on the district's service learning board.
"Volunteering has become the backbone of who I am," Jackson says. "It has taught me to be grateful for what we have and the opportunities we face. Whether it be assisting the elderly or saving a life, there are always moments to make a person's life a little better."
Clontz hopes to study agricultural technology and management, and natural resources at a university. She is considering a career in sustainable agriculture and communications. She volunteers at the Phoenix Zoo and founded Westwood High's Murals and Mosaics Art Service Club. Her passion for agriculture was sparked by her involvement with FFA.
"My experience in high school has shown me how important community service is," Clontz says. "It is a way for me to be engaged in issues I feel are important, while educating or improving the lives of those around me. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be involved in volunteer work in my future."
Morgan plans to study international relations and east Asian studies at a university. She'd like to become an ambassador or foreign service officer to "give a voice to those who are unable to speak for themselves." Her service activities include Westwood Youth Theatre Camp, Link Crew, National Honor Society and Hohokam Leadership Council.
"My experiences with service have been eye opening," Morgan says. "I now see how all actions, big or small, can deeply affect a community, and how those who have been helped seek to give back."
Yan plans to major in economics or mathematics at a university. She will pursue a career that incorporates international and service aspects, such as foreign service officer. She's involved in Model United Nations, National Honor Society and Young Asian Leaders of America, among other activities. As a peer counselor with Teen Lifeline, she helps teenagers across the country who are experiencing their own personal crises.
"From my service experiences, I have learned that small actions can lead to enormous impacts, from subsidizing a family's electricity bill to simply providing a listening ear," Yan says. "Although my final [career] plans may not be concrete, my overarching goal is certain: Ultimately, I want to continue my community service activities and be a positive, meaningful influence on the world."
(Pictured top to bottom: Robin Jackson, Katrina Clontz, Hanna Morgan and Jessica Yan. Photos by Tim Hacker/Mesa Public Schools)