Feb. 19, 2021
Fifth grader earns volunteer award
Boyce Middle School fifth grader Aaron Jiang was recently recognized with the 2020 President's Volunteer Service Award (Gold). Aaron earned the award for completing more than 80 volunteer hours with the Youth Development Resource Consortium, a California-based non-profit organization that promotes student-run community service projects.
Throughout 2020, Aaron taught two free weekly classes – Rubik’s Cube and Origami – via zoom to children nationwide, who are stuck at home due to COVID-19.
“In March 2020, right after the pandemic forced schools to close, our organization started to recruit volunteers countrywide to provide free extracurricular activities for children who had to stay home,” Haofan Cheng, president, said. “Aaron was among the first group of students who signed up for this program that later developed to benefit thousands of families affected by COVID-19.”
Aaron has been teaching two weekly classes via Zoom since April 2020. Through these carefully designed classes, he offered hands-on learning experiences to hundreds of children all over the country.
“He is always well-prepared for each class, and his classes are fun, engaging and entertaining,” Mr. Cheng said. “His dedication to help other children during this challenging time is inspiring and admirable.”
According to Mr. Cheng, Aaron is among the youngest volunteers at the Youth Development Resource Consortium.
“The amount of effort he devotes to this program is rare for a 10-year-old. A total of 136 students volunteered for this program and Aaron is one of the youngest, as most of the volunteers are seventh graders and up, including college students,” Mr. Cheng said. “Of all 13 volunteers who earned the President’s Volunteer Service Award at all three ranks (Gold, Silver and Bronze) through our organization, only two students earned the Gold Award – the other student is a high school student.”
According to the Presidential Service Award website, “in 2003, the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation founded the President’s Volunteer Service Award to recognize the important role of volunteers in America’s strength and national identity. This award honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires those around them to take action, too.”