June 1, 2023
By Hope Schmidt, POL Intern
Have you ever sat back and wondered how you could make your community a better place? Is there work to be done? Where to start? Well, four Pickerington seniors had these exact questions and got right to work.
In April, members of the Violet Township Women’s League awarded scholarships to outstanding Pickerington seniors for their community service. The four winners were Drake Collins, Andrew Snipes, Ashley Carter and Tessa Waggoner. Each received a scholarship of $2,500.
Winning this scholarship is not easy. According to the Women’s League, there are four categories that each candidate must score well on. First, every candidate must perform a high level of community service. Second, the candidate must write a
personal essay describing how their community service experiences has impacted their personal development. Third, each candidate must supply a letter of recommendation and lastly, the candidate must supply their grade point average.
Ashley Carter performed multiple acts of community service as part of her induction into the Pickerington High School Central chapter of the National Honors Society which required a minimum of 60 service hours.
Outside of school, Ashley Carter volunteered as a Special Olympics cheer coach, a swim coach at the iCan Swim program and she assisted first-grade special needs children through a Service-Learning Academic Tutoring program. These efforts combined with her overall kindness and drive to make the community are why she received the $2,500 scholarship. Ashley has plans on attending Miami University where she will be studying special education.
People describe Pickerington High School North graduate Tessa Waggoner as having “an infectious energy and enthusiasm” and as being “an outstanding and dedicated student”. Tessa served in the “Best Buddies” program where she formed friendships with students who had intellectual and developmental disabilities. She also worked with disabled students through her Peer Collaboration class. Furthermore, Tessa also participated in the Night to Shine which is a prom for young adults with special needs.
At Grace Fellowship Church, Tessa as spent more than four years working with the Kids Ministry. Parishoners and other community members know Tessa “for her kindness, loving heart, work ethic, and positive attitude.” She has been accepted to Cedarville University where she will be studying special education.
Pickerington North senior Drake Collins is described by his school counselor as “having the determination, intellect, will, and motivation to succeed at any academic endeavor he takes”. Along with being the 2023 student council president and senior class president, Drake also served as a member of the Global Scholars program which was addresses global issues. He was also a member of the Peer Collaboration program which helps support students with multiple disabilities. Drake competed on the Panthers’ golf and track teams.
Outside of school, Drake worked as a deejay from his very own small business, where he performed for school and private events such as weddings and birthday parties. He also completed a CCP program to earn his Ohio Real Estate License. He volunteered at the Mid-Ohio Food Bank and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Last fall, he initiated a Trunk or Treat 2022 at Pickerington North in which more than 70 businesses participated. Drake will be attending The University of Tampa where he will be studying business and entrepreneurship.
Pickerington North graduate Andrew Snipes is described as being “enthusiastic, reliable, full of energy and volunteers with a happy heart.” He was a member of the National Honors Society as well as the senior vice-president. Andrew volunteered as a Service Learning Academic Tutor where he mentored students at Tussing Elementary regarding friendships and making good choices.
Andrew competed on the Panthers’ baseball and cross-country teams, as well as played baseball with the Suburban Columbus Trappers travel program.
For the past two years hevolunteered in the preschool classroom at Grace Fellowship Church for the last two year. He became a leader at Camp Muskingum, where he co-lead a group of third and fourth grade students in Christain-oriented activities. He will be attending Bluffton University to study middle childhood education.
“The students selected to receive the Violet Township Community Service Scholarships stand out in their dedication to serving others and exemplify the qualities of dependability, initiative, and a commitment to excellence.” the Women’s League issued in a statement.
You can find more information about the Violet Township Women’s League here:
Violet Township Women’s League (vtwl.org)