Three Westwood High School students have been awarded special recognitions for their work as volunteers in the community.
Westwood sophomore Eesha Nayak was selected as a distinguished finalist for the Prudential Spirit of Community Award for her work with Girl Scouts of Central Texas. Eesha helped raised more than $10,000 by producing volunteer orientation and promotional videos for the Volunteer Healthcare Clinic, which provides free healthcare services to uninsured working poor individuals.
“It’s really exciting to be named a distinguished finalist and I loved looking at the other inspiring projects that were selected,” Eesha said. “Even though I probably won’t go the medical route as a career, I found other ways to help the Volunteer Healthcare Clinic and that’s really cool.”
Westwood students Kyungmin Lee and Yasmin Ali were both awarded The President’s Volunteer Service Award, which recognizes United States citizens who have achieved between 100 and 250 hours of community service hours during a 12-month time period.
Kyungmin received the award after volunteering for three hours each Saturday at the Austin Korean School. She is a former student of the school where she learned the Korean language and customs until she was in sixth grade. Instead of leaving, Kyungmin had a passion for practicing Korean and remained committed to volunteering weekly at the community organization.
“I never want to stop learning Korean because if I won’t use it, I’ll lose proficiency,” Kyungmin said. “I really enjoy working with the kids and the community. It’s important for us to understand where we come from.”
Yasmin serves as the co-coordinator for a volunteer group at her church where she encourages her peers to participate in weekend food banks, marathons and other volunteer opportunities.
“I love volunteering,” Yasmin said. “I volunteer a lot so I put that into my group and encourage people to go volunteer every weekend. I live such a blessed life so it’s my way of giving back and showing my gratitude.”
Along with the honor of presidential recognition, Kyungmin and Yasmin received a personalized certificate, an official pin, medallion or coin and a congratulatory letter from the president of the United States, according to The President’s Volunteer Service Award organization.