Posted at: 10/05/2013 8:13 PM
Summer of Service Award Recipient
(ABC 6 NEWS) - ABC 6 News teamed up with Youth Service America to find youth making a difference in their community through local non-profits.
the three winners of the summer of service award have been chosen. They each get a $1,000 grant along with the award.
Tonight we introduce you to our first winner, Rachel Wahlert. She's an Austin High schooler who has spent her teenage years volunteering for the Red Cross.
It's 9:00 a.m. on a Saturday and what else is Rachel Wahlert doing, but cleaning windows for an Austin resident along with her volleyball team.
"I don't think there's any other better way to spend my time. I know other people are busy with sports and stuff and that's their thing, and volunteering is mine,” said Rachel Wahlert, Summer of Service Award Winner.
Rachel has spent hundreds of hours over the years helping out her local community.
"That's just always been the type of person she's always been,” said Rachel’s mom, Agnes.
She's on the women's initiative board for the United Way and the president of the National Honors Society at Austin High School. But if that's not enough, it's her work with the local American Red Cross that's earned her the summer of service award.
"Rachel is really one of those wonderful people who at an early age figured out that she could be a leader and make a difference in the world, which lead us to invite her to join our board of directors,” said Elaine Hansen, Executive Director of the Freeborn and Mower Red Cross Chapter.
Rachel is the only high school student on the board for the Freeborn and Mower Red Cross Chapter. Two months ago she sponsored a blood drive in memory of Lauren Schwab, a former volunteer with the American Red Cross.
"It was just very impactful to see someone realize that they could make a difference by getting behind this effort and not only sponsoring a drive but a tremendously successful drive,” said Hansen.
"We had over 125 people come and donate,” said Rachel.
This blood drive alone has the potential of saving 375 people.
"Her dad and I are really proud of her,” said Agnes.
But for Rachel, it's not about recognition. She donates her time to help those who need it most.
"I just want to make a positive impact where ever I go. I want people if they ever remember me, I want them to remember me in a positive light and that I tried to do the best that I could for them,” said Rachel.
Rachel tells us the $1,000 grant she receives will go to the local American Red Cross as well as Lauren Schwab's scholarship fund.