Archive for Thursday, April 29, 2004

BLHS volunteers honored

April 29, 2004

The names of four Basehor-Linwood High School students will appear on a list read by President George W. Bush as part of the Points of Light program, a national effort to recognize young volunteers.

On Monday, 89 BLHS students were honored for their service as YouthFriends Corps Care Cats, a mentoring program in which students volunteered time to help elementary and middle school students in the Basehor-Linwood School District. The students will have logged more than 4,000 volunteer hours by the end of the school year, YouthFriends coordinator Tammy Potts said.

However, four of those students stood out among their peers Monday because each had volunteered 100 hours or more. Those students are Joey Clark (100 hours), Amy Chrisman (106.5 hours), Ashley Odle (117 hours), Samantha Ellis (121.5 hours) and Terra Nichols (134.5 hours).

By volunteering the most hours of any student, Nichols earned Care Cat of the Year honors.

Each of the five students will be placed on a national list of volunteers, which will be given to the President later this year.

The Care Cats program began years ago, initially with just a handful of volunteers. It has been under the umbrella of the YouthFriends program since 2000, operating essentially under the same philosophy that the Peace Corp does, Potts said.

The program places a premium on mentoring and helping others, she said.

Potts, who helps coordinate the Care Cats volunteers, said she is proud of the efforts and strides the students have taken this year, which is one of the most successful in program history.

"This is the largest class of Care Cats we've ever had," Potts said.

Jill Hackett, Basehor-Linwood School District superintendent, spoke to the 89 Care Cats during a recognition gathering Monday. She said the volunteers serve as role models for the students they mentor.

"Thank you," Hackett said. "Thank you for taking all the hours that you have to help.

"What you've been doing has made a huge difference in their lives. There is a reward there you cannot buy."

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