Red Mountain High School’s Rebecca Moser, Skyline High School‘s Arisaid Gonzalez Porras, and Westwood High School‘s Athena Le and Brianna Rangel have been awarded Student Community Service Awards from the Mesa Citizen of the Year Association. Each student received a $1,000 scholarship. Eligible candidates must complete at least 150 service hours during high school and demonstrate a commitment to lifelong community service.
“It’s important to recognize the great volunteer work being done by Mesa Public Schools students,” an association spokesperson said. “They’re helping with city programs, nonprofits and other important community outreach in an exemplary manner. As an association, we want to do more to promote volunteerism in our youth to develop our community leaders of the future.”
Moser plans to attend Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, where she will double major in marketing and supply chain management. She hopes to become a director for a local nonprofit organization. Moser is president of Lion Link Crew and a member of the Red Mountain Band leadership team and track team. She also volunteers with Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY).
“Helping my peers and those younger than me has been extremely rewarding,” Moser said. “I love to watch those around me improve and believe in themselves. Throughout my experiences, I have learned compassion and how to give by serving others.”
Gonzalez Porras hopes to attend University of Pennsylvania or ASU to pursue a double major of political science and linguistics. After that, she’d like to attend law school and own a law firm. Gonzalez Porras is actively involved in activities such as Paw Pals Club, Elements N’ Motion and We the People.
“I have learned there is always time in our schedules, no matter how busy one is, to volunteer,” she says. “Volunteering not only changes people’s lives the activity or project aims to help, but it also transforms the volunteer.”
Athena Le plans to study finance at a four-year university. She hopes to become a financial analyst for World Bank to help solve community and global problems. She participates in several school activities, including math club, Chinese culture club and National Honor Society.
“My experiences have taught me that no matter who or how I help, I will still make a difference,” Le said. “From celebrating Christmas with children at the local Child Crisis Center to helping children in China gain access to books, no act of kindness is inconsequential.”
Brianna Rangel plans to study occupational therapy at Grand Canyon University. She hopes to work with children who have special needs as an occupational therapist. Rangel is active in HOBY, student council, Shun the Sun Foundation and more.
“When I began high school, I was shy and not involved,” Rangel said. “Once I risked the first step in getting involved, I started realizing how much I liked it. From there, I become more and more involved and took on greater positions of leadership. It is also through volunteering that I learned what I wanted to do with my life.”