By Isabela Supovitz-Aznar
Junior Sam Lovett-Perkins was very surprised and excited to have received the first Jefferson award to be presented to a student at SLA.
The Jefferson Awards were co-founded by former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and U.S. Senator Robert Taft. It is a program that aknowledges the importance of community service in student life, and applauds and awards teens who give back to their community.
The Award was presented during the most recent Junior Assembly by Sophomore Isabela Supovitz-Aznar and Senior Nikhail James, both of whom heped bring the first Jefferson team to SLA.
Lovett-Perkins has participated in multiple service projects through SLA and BuildOn, including an overseas trip to Mali during spring break.
He says the award was definitely unexpected. “I thought Amanda was going to get it,” Sam said, referring to Junior Amanda Millat, who also participates frequently in community service. When they called his name, “I started thinking, oh my God, what if I have to give a speech!”
Mrs. Siswick, SLA’s guidance counselor who helps manage The Jefferson Awards team, helped coordinate the award, along with Urszula Stankiewicz, who works for the program.
“When I was in high school, we did not have any service clubs, service requirements, nor anybody who taught us the importance of service. None of my peers ever talked about volunteering, nor do I think many of them even considered volunteering,” said Stankiewicz. “I only learned how rewarding volunteer work was when I was in college.”
“I cannot explain how thrilled I was to see such a strong culture of service in so many schools. It melted my heart to see so many students truly passionate about giving back, both locally and globally.”
The Junior Assembly also featured special guest Michael Cruz from the School District’s Office of Counseling and Promotion Standards. Michael gave a speech about college life, and what the Juniors could do to prepare for college admissions — including joining the Jefferson program.
We hope to see more students joining Jefferson Awards in the new school year!
Photos by Rebecca Rainis and Isabela Supovitz-Aznar, Written By Isabela Supovitz-Aznar.