If accumulating 2,500 volunteer hours in one year is wrong, there are about 12 young people in the region who don’t want to be right.
On Thursday (July 10) they became the latest students to receive a Libro Community Builder Scholarship worth $3,000. Seven of this year’s winners were from the London region and they descended upon the London West Libro Credit Union branch with friends and family for a ceremony with the Libro brass including president and CEO Steve Bolton.
Libro has awarded almost $150,000 to 72 recipients between 17 and 25 since launching the scholarship program in 2012. This year, 515 people applied and 12 were successful.
Bolton said he was excited to be able to give back to a group of young people who together racked up about 2,500 volunteer hours last year.
“We’re passionate about building and supporting vibrant communities across southwestern Ontario and these students are stellar role models for giving back and making a positive impact.”
According to Libro youth coordinator Candice Worsfold, the winners were selected because they made an impact in their community by assuming a leadership role on top of their already meritorious volunteerism.
“They’ve stepped up to create some kind of innovation, so they’re community builders in a leadership role.”
Western University sociology and English senior Katelyn Andersen, 21, is such a leader. She volunteers at Ronald McDonald House at London Health Sciences Centre and at a program that helps disabled children to swim, where she also worked as the lead coach.
She also works as an intervener with adults who were born congenitally deaf and blind.
She recalled one 16-year-old who has gone from needing her to hold him up in the pool to swimming competitively.
She wants to work with children and families either in a hospital, Children’s Aid Society or military context.
“It’s nice to know what I do was recognized but it’s not why I do it,” she said. “I enjoy helping people. I like being able to see the children transition from not being able to swim to swimming independently.”
Also among the recipients were Thames Valley District School Board student trustee Diana Idibe and Ceilidh Harrison, who was one of the South Secondary School students who founded the Barefoot Walk, which has raised more than $100,000 for basic necessities for children in Africa.
“I hope with perseverance and exceptional ambition, I can one day make a difference for equality around the world,” Harrison said.