By: PJ, HandsOn Twin Cities Youth Advisory Board Member
As a member of HOTC’s Youth Advisory Board I took part in hosting the Volunteer Expo at the Mall of America on Saturday, February 19. It was a great opportunity to showcase the organization, as well as other non-profits and some awesome volunteers who have devoted themselves to improving their communities and the world around them.
It was the Youth Advisory Board’s honor to present the Be The Change Award, given to one outstanding youth volunteer who strives to serve and help others. This year’s winner was Rachel Larson, a nominee from Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church.
Rachel volunteers at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church as a Sunday School teacher and musician, Confirmation small group leader, is a student leader in Ambassadors for Change, and a spent a week helping rebuild homes on the Gulf Coast with the high school youth group. As a student leader in Ambassadors for Change, Rachel works with the other students in the group to research causes, present to large Confirmation groups, and collect offerings for such projects as scholarships for students in Tanzania and relief money for the earthquake in Haiti. Rachel also founded her own nonprofit called Care for a Cure, which is a student-run organization that raises awareness of childhood cancer as a world-wide problem in an effort to get more youth involved in the fight against it.
It is wonderful to know that people like Rachel care so much about others and that there are some amazing volunteers who work hard to make a difference in their communities!