Many Forsyth County students earned awards this week for their work in classrooms, but one student is being recognized for what she does in her free time.
Katelyn Houston, who just completed her freshman year at South Forsyth High School, was recently selected at the teen level for the Gold Presidential Volunteer Service Award, which requires more than 100 hours of service over a 12-month period.
Houston went well above that, totaling more than 160 hours of volunteering.
“The award is to recognize people that volunteer hundreds of hours in their communities,” she said. “Getting the award shows how much you have helped others, and it feels good to realize how much you have done once you add it up.
“It also is a good way to get others to recognize that you can volunteer too.”
Over the year, she helped with Police Explorers, Girl Scouts and Young Marines, a youth education and service program tied to the Marine Corps.
“In Young Marines, it allows me to honor veterans with my service and I appreciate the sacrifice of our veterans and I gladly spend time doing things to honor them,” Houston said.
“In explorers, I volunteer as a part of the honor guard whenever there is need for a flag ceremony. The explorers also work with younger kids in the county to understand law enforcement.”
With Girl Scouts, Houston has also won a service awards for the organization and also volunteered with younger scouts.
“Last year I volunteered in many ways. My biggest project was the Girl Scout silver award, and that benefitted childhood cancer,” she said. “In Girl Scouts, I volunteered as a camp aid and I enjoyed teaching younger scouts about Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts has given me lots of opportunities to learn about leadership.”
She said she plans to keep on doing service projects, and enjoys dedicating her time to others.
“I volunteer because I like to be productive and I enjoy helping others,” Houston said. “Volunteering helps me use free time for good things, and it feels good to know that I’m helping out.”