The Presidential Volunteer Service Award is given to students who have completed 25 or more service hours between August 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016. This award is sponsored by Leesville’s Parent-Teacher-Student Association.
Jacob Phillips, a senior, has earned the award all three years. He earns the necessary service hours in various ways. “[I volunteer] mostly through my church on mission trips in rural areas, and…with my middle school at robotics summer camp and a lot of other volunteer service activities here at the school through the National Honors Society,” said Phillips.
For service hours to qualify, they must meet certain requirements; the students can not receive payment for the service hours and the hours cannot be court ordered. However, service hours from National Honors Society or Key Club may be included and students can record up to 9 service hours a day, plus hours for ‘reasonable travel’ outside of Raleigh for volunteer purposes.
The award, according to the application, was created to “[recognize] individuals who demonstrate outstanding volunteer service and civic participation over a 12-month period.” Volunteer service gives a lot back to the community, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the value of volunteer time to be $23.56 an hour. With that statistic, Leesville students who earn the award give at least $589 back to their communities.
Kendall York, also a senior, has earned the award as well. He volunteers almost every week at Miracle League of the Triangle, an organization aimed to provide children with special needs the opportunity to play baseball. York attends the games and announces, giving play-by-plays of the game for the audience.
To York, it’s more than just an award. “The kids…it’s something they all look forward to, so it’s nice to enhance the experience,” said York.