Archive for Hometown Heroes
At just 17 years old, Zach Mansley has set himself on a path of tremendous success. A soon-to-be senior in high school, Zach’s choices and individual efforts have made him a sure standout amongst his peers.
Academically, he has established a record of impressive accomplishment. He has won awards in both Chemistry and Geometry, each for having the highest GPA in the subject. Then there were awards in both Math and Physics. He’s twice received the ‘Scholastic R’ award, and he’s a member of the World Language Honor’s Society. Recently, Zach’s prowess resulted in his selection to represent the town of Ramsey in MSG’s Varsity Challenge, and this summer, he will be attending Steven’s Institute of Technology’s Engineering and Science Exploration program.
Zach keeps himself busy with a wide assortment extracurricular activities. He plays in the marching band, writes for the school newspaper, and is a member of the Italian club. He plays recreation league soccer and runs track for the high school.
“I’d just like to thank my mom and dad for everything that they’ve done for me.” -Zach Mansley
What’s even more impressive, is the manner in which Zach chooses to pay his talents forward. He serves as a math tutor. He rides with the local ambulance squad and has already achieved state certification as an Emergency Medical Technician. The consummate role model, Zach invests dozens of hours in his community’s DARE program, and in 2010, he sought out the opportunity to join a Habitat for Humanity construction project in New Orleans. Though his age held him back from the trip, neither his heart, nor his intents were found wanting.
In his active spare time, Zach enjoys skiing, water skiing, hiking, mountain biking, hanging out with his girlfriend and beating his father at pool. He’s made time for everything important in his life, while squeezing out the things that aren’t. Zach’s never felt the need to experiment with drugs or alcohol, and is proud to be setting the finest example for those who hope to follow in his footsteps.
You are a success and an inspiration Zach. Godspeed in your future endeavors. MpoweredParent is proud to name you as our July 2011 Hometown Hero! Send Zach a question or comment below.
Jason O’Neill is a truly remarkable young man. At the ripe old age of fifteen years old, he’s built his own business, been listed on the Forbes Top Ten Role Model list, published a business book and garnered national attention for himself, his products and his age group. Jason’s also a motivational speaker and a world class philanthropist.
He brainstormed his first product, Pencilbugs, when he was just nine years old. That product grew is size, scope and diversity, to include many different fixtures and marketing styles. Empowered by the experience, Jason began developing presentations, which he delivered at schools and community forums. View one of his videos here on youtube (Watch Video) and you’ll be amazed at how articulate this little fellow really is. But if you’re like us, you’ll be even more amazed at what he’s done with his talents.
“The overwhelming lesson I have learned is to try your ideas. Life is about opportunities, possibilities and options. Doing nothing, guarantees nothing. Try your Ideas. You might be surprised at what you can do. ” -Jason O’Neill
Jason is a true life altruist. Helping others has always been an integral aspect of his efforts. In 2005, he began donating some of his profits to HUGS, a Foster Family Agency in Temecula, Florida. In 2008, he began supporting Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, California. Money from Jason’s efforts goes towards the purchase of toys, games and books for the kids in need. Today, he’s wrapping up his latest fundraiser, a Very Beary Christmas, where he’s raised thousands of dollars towards the purchase of Teddy Bears for hospitalized children. Last year, the same fund drive raised over $5,000 and helped deliver 1,800 bears.
In his spare time, Jason recently published a book for teen entrepreneurs. Titled, “Bitten by the Business Bug: Common Sense Tips for Business and Life from a Teen Entrepreneur,” the paperback piece hopes to inspire and inform kids of all ages who may have toyed with the idea of starting their own business.
You are a success and an inspiration Jason. Godspeed in your future endeavors. MpoweredParent is proud to name you as our December 2010 Hometown Hero! Send Jason a question or comment below. You can also contact him directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit his website at PencilBugs.com.
HomeTown Hero Needs Your Help
Simone Bernstein needs your vote to win $25,000 for her inner-city nonprofit organizations. L’Oreal just named Simone as a finalist in their Women of Worth award program. That honor earned a cool $5,000 for one of Simone’s nonprofit organizations. Now, she’s in the running to win five times that amount, and she needs your help to do it. With just a simple “click”, you could help this young phenom to continue building bright futures. Please read her plea below, and share this message with all of your friends!
A Message From Simone:
As the teen founder, of St Louis Volunteen.com, I was fortunate to be selected as one of L’Oreal Paris’ Women of Worth. Only 10 of these awards were given out. In recognition of my efforts, L’Oreal Paris has generously donated $5,000 directly to my local children’s museum. With it, we will continue to provide funding for future Youth and Family Volunteer Fairs.
As a finalist, there is now an opportunity for me to win a $25,000 grant from L’Oreal. All I need is for you readers to support me. It just takes a click! Please visit the 2010 L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth Voting Page, and click for me.
Since St. Louis Volunteen.com has little to no overhead, we would donate ALL funds back to youth based inner-city nonprofit programs. I would really appreciate your vote, and I promise to pay your good gesture forward! Please help.
You may recall that Simone was recently named as our November 2010 Hometown Hero. Click here to find out more about Simone, and learn why her community is so proud of her!
Simone Bernstein is a trendsetting young woman with a flair for the altruistic. At the age of twelve, she began volunteering at her local library. Then it was the V.A. Hospital. Before long, she was serving the Children’s Museum and a Crisis Nursery Center. Her passion for volunteering exposed what she believed was a missing link between young volunteers and the causes which need them. The solution, she felt, was an online meeting place. A digital portal where organizations could advertise their needs to a growing population of teen volunteers.
Without any prior experience, she soon found herself acting as President, C.E.O., and Webmaster of StLouisVolunteen.com. Simone was recently referred to MpoweredParnet.com as a Hometown Hero, and it’s easy to see why. “I created StLouisVolunteen.com in July 2009,” she told us, “I wanted to provide a one-stop search site to promote youth volunteerism in our metropolitan area.” She started by meeting with various nonprofit organizations and museum directors, seeking to find ways that youth volunteers could be integrated.
“Once a student enters middle school and even high school, summer opportunities are tough to find. Middle school students are too young to apply for summer employment. Day camps and even school summer programs, as well as employment for this age group are limited. The website helps students easily find updated contact information, requirements and opportunities, and even submit applications on-line directly to local area volunteer agencies.” -Simone Berstein
Simone regularly visits inner-city high schools, churches and community centers to promote volunteerism. She says that she is particularly concerned about the at-risk youth groups, and their diminished access to support networks. She has also created interfaith projects, where youth groups from different religions collaborate on benevolent projects, such as sending care packages to U.S. troops deployed overseas.
There are currently about 45 organizations represented on her site. Simone says that she gets about 800 visitors a month, and that her efforts have helped fill about 1,500 volunteer positions since 2009. But she hasn’t stopped there. Simone recently hosted the first annual Youth and Family Volunteer Fair. Attended by over 500 teens and family members, the event was considered a huge success. An encore event has already been scheduled for April 10, 2011.
Bernstein and her teenage brother are the only full-time officers for the organization. They began work with a limited budget, built by Simone’s part-time babysitting income. The initial marketing blitz was aided by local school districts, who linked to her site from their parent/student portals. Local media outlets helped as well, adding their free publicity to the mix. A small group of volunteers from local high schools help out with the marketing of the service. They recently started a twitter account @stlvolunteen, where short-term volunteer openings are advertised.
Currently a freshman at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY, Simone says it’s too early to tell if her efforts will someday turn into a career. As she now looks to grow her efforts into a national entity, the obstacles of funding, technical expertise and marketing loom big on the horizon. Proving the adage, “There’s nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer,” Simone says that she looks to the difference that she’s making, as motivation to push onward. Having received poignant emails from young volunteers that have benefited though her site, Simone claims that if just one of them had been helped, she would have considered the site a success.
The site is a success Simone, and so are you. Godspeed in your future endeavors. MpoweredParent is proud to name you as our October 2010 Hometown Hero! Send Simone a question or comment below. You can also contact her directly by emailing email@example.com.
NJ Teen Advances In 3M’s Young Scientist Challenge
Nicholas Venturini, a bright young student from Eric Smith Middle School in Ramsey N.J., just advanced to the semifinals of the Discovery Education / 3M Young Scientist Challenge. Nick was simultaneously honored for being the only New Jersey student to advance in the competition. Only 47 students, nation wide, moved on to be semifinalists. The Young Scientist Challenge is regarded as the nation’s premier science competition for middle school students.
Nick submitted a video project which explained the beneficial and detrimental effects of the sun on the human body. A panel of judges assessed the video based upon its creativity, persuasiveness, classroom suitability and overall presentation.
In addition to his science skills, Nick is also an active volunteer in his community. He is a Boy Scout, a volunteer for the D.A.R.E. program and assists with the Office of Emergency Management. He is also an Alter Server for the St. Paul Parish. He is known by his friends as a person who is always willing to help others.
Each semifinalist receives $250 and a prize package. In August, the judges will announce the Top Ten Finalists, each of whom will be awarded an all-expenses paid trip to New York City, where they will compete in the Young Scientist Challenge Finals. The ultimate winner will receive $50,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds and be awarded the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist”.
Please join us in recognizing Nick’s amazing accomplishment. Log in to leave a comment. Share this Hometown Hero block with your community, and lets all cheer Nicky on as he advances towards that national title!
We’re just as happy to showcase a 5th grade honor student, as we are to showcase an amazing military mom. Send us their picture, their story and the state they are from, and we’ll put something nice together for them. Once its here, you can share it to your heart’s content.
From baby’s first steps, to Johnny’s first job, send us your family oriented accomplishments, and let them inspire others. Click here to learn more. Power to the Parents!