Giving Back

By Katie Grovatt

Six students who are making a difference

volunteer-ryleighRyleigh Sheehan Humane Society of Central Texas
At age 11, Ryleigh Sheehan experienced firsthand the heartbreak of losing a pet when her dog, Princess, ran away. She wanted to save others from experiencing that pain. As a sixth grader at China Spring Middle School, she organized Minute to Win It and Pay to Play events where all proceeds went to the Humane Society of Central Texas. In just one day she managed to raise enough funds to save four dogs’ lives. When she is not raising money, she is lending a helping hand at the animal shelter, falling in love with each animal she meets.

volunteer-timothyTimothy Robbins Boys & Girls Club
When he isn’t running track, recent Waco High School graduate Timothy Robbins dedicates his time to building caring and life-enhancing relationships with the children of the Boys & Girls Club. As someone who grew up going to the Boys & Girls Club, he developed a passion for the program’s mission. He spends 24 hours a week playing sports, games and doing fun activities with the children. Although he hopes to run on the Louisiana State University track team, he doesn’t plan to stop serving and wants to seek out a Boys & Girls Club in Baton Rouge.

volunteer-lilyLily Cates Caritas
For Midway High School sophomore Lily Cates, her passion for helping others began while her grandfather was president of the board of directors at Caritas. Volunteering as a grandfather-daughter duo, the two would often spend the morning serving and then bond over lunch. Since then Lily has grown a big heart for serving her community, spending the last five years helping reduce hunger in Waco. Any free time she has away from her busy high school schedule she spends at Caritas, stocking shelves and loading families’ cars with food.

volunteer-lexiLexi Newman BaylorScott&White Hillcrest Medical Center
Vanguard College Preparatory School senior Lexi Newman spends 12 hours a week in the emergency room. Since she plans to pursue a career in a medical field, she wanted to use her summer break efficiently. At Hillcrest she shadows ER technicians, assists with EKGs and has had the opportunity to watch and learn from nurses. It’s a lot for a 17-year-old to handle, but Lexi craves excitement. As she considers undergraduate pre-med programs at UCLA or Pepperdine University, she hopes one day to have a job in which she can say, “I was the reason that person lived.”

volunteer-madelineMadeline Ho Providence Breast Health Center
Madeline Ho, a senior at Midway High School, only started volunteering a month ago and has already logged 40 hours of service. She plans to pursue an undergraduate degree at University of Texas and wants to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology in medical school. She spends her time doing office work, which includes organizing patient files. Volunteering has given her a strong foundation and an appreciation for the hard work that goes on in medical centers. It has also confirmed her decision to become a doctor.

volunteer-adleyAdley Mattei Talitha Koum Institute
Adley Mattei wanted to get out of her comfort zone and get a better understanding of the world around her. That is why this eighth-grader at First Woodway Christian School has spent the last year volunteering at Talitha Koum, a mental health therapeutic nursery for infant to 5-year-olds living in multigenerational poverty. As an avid dance student at Dance by Emily, Adley holds mini dance sessions with the children each week. She enjoys building relationships with them, bonding, laughing, playing and positively influencing each child’s life.

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