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Volunteers

Volunteen of the Month: Elena Gresick

We all know helping others is important. Even if you do not get paid for helping someone, you can still grasp that reward feeling of accomplishment that you really made a difference in a person’s life.

Elena Gresick, a recent graduate of Ladue Horton Watkins High School, is a seventeen year old all-star athlete and scholar. She played field hockey and lacrosse for Ladue and was also a member of the National Honor Society. When she wasn’t on the field or in the classroom, Elena participated in several volunteer activities across the St. Louis area. She has enjoyed giving back to her community and contributing something different to each opportunity.

One of her current projects is the Magic House. Elena started volunteering at the Magic House last summer. Her volunteer activities include supervising children and cleaning. Elena’s love for children and fun childhood memories of the Magic House helped inspire her to want to volunteer there. When asked what volunteering at the Magic House has taught her, Elena says “it’s helped cement the idea that I want to work with kids.”

Elena will attend Johns Hopkins University beginning in the fall. She plans to major in neuroscience or biology with hopes of becoming a pediatric oncologist. This dream has led her to volunteer at Friends of Kids With Cancer. Elena helps periodically with events and clerical work. Volunteering with Friends of Kids With Cancer has helped reinforce how much she wants to keep going with her chosen career path and helps her further enjoy life.

When you think of volunteering, you think of giving back to your community. Elena thinks of this often while she volunteers at Our Lady of the Pillar Parish fish fries. At the fish fries, Elena busses tables. This has taught her the important skills of patience and diligence.

I asked Elena what her ideal service project would be, if she had the chance to create one. Elena talked about wanting a more hands-on project that was available for younger aged volunteers. “I wanted to volunteer at the Humane Society when I was younger but couldn’t get near the animals until I was a certain age. It made me frustrated because it was a prime spot for me to volunteer at,” said Elena.

Elena offers teens like you the following pieces of advice: In terms of volunteering, Elena says: “Get out there and do it! A lot of people are hesitant to volunteer because they are all focused on money, but there are so many opportunities. It’s important to volunteer to give back and not just for the resume.”

Also, in general, Elena advises teens to follow their dreams and stay in school. “An education will get you so far in life. A lot of teenagers don’t realize its importance – at least my generation doesn’t,” said Elena.

Get out – dream – serve – push yourself – conquer life’s challenges!