Grand Haven Christian School seventh-grader Libby Mast was recently recognized for her community service efforts, and she’s been nominated by her school for state recognition for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.
Mast, 13, volunteers for Covenant Life Church’s Regatta, a program for children with special needs; helps with the church’s nursery; and helps teachers after school.
Mast also helps her mother, who is a youth pastor, and she assists the GHCS sixth-grade basketball team. Last year, she volunteered for 47 hours, and she’s looking to volunteer for 48 hours or more this year.
GHCS Principal James Onderlinde informed Mast of her accomplishment during an all-school chapel. Mast said she was surprised she would receive the honor.
“I just couldn’t stop smiling,” she said.
Onderlinde said the award is a nice way to recognize efforts and hard work. He said it’s not just about dedicating time to volunteering, but it’s also about developing and building relationships with people in the community.
Mast said she’s always felt called to serve, and it makes her feel good. She said her service also makes her feel closer to God, and it’s given her perspective on how other people live.
Through her involvement in the Regatta program, Mast has developed an interest in pursuing a future as a special-education teacher.
As Mast continues her efforts, she offeres advice for people who are interested in giving back to the community. She encourages students to check with their school, teachers, friends, church and other organizations that have or know of volunteer opportunities.
“Even if you have conflicts, try to make it once or twice,” she said.