CONGRATULATIONS to our 2019 Teen Volunteers of the Year Nominees!
First Place Winners – Spencyr Aronson and Maya
Spencyr Aronson is a senior at Pace Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. She is an editor of the school yearbook, manager of the lacrosse team and member of the National Honor Society. She is passionately committed to working to achieve her potential academically and through volunteering and fundraising within the Atlanta charitable community. In addition to her work with Covenant House, Spencyr also volunteers with and raises money for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. In total, she was responsible for raising over $75,000 last year for Atlanta based charities. Spencyr could not have accomplished any of this without Maya’s outstanding work and combined efforts as her partner. With Maya’s help, Spencyr raised over $50,000, winning the Scholars in Service competition and directly supporting Covenant House’s mission: ending youth homelessness. Maya and Spencyr also launched a Post-Secondary Education Fund for the Covenant House with the $2,500 Scholars in Service Award that they received in recognition of their service. During their senior year, Maya and Spencyr are planning to lead the Covenant House sleepout, and have also founded a school club that will bring surplus cafeteria food to Covenant House to help feed residents on weekends. Spencyr is humbled to receive this recognition, but is more interested in calling on everyone to do their part to help those less fortunate than themselves.
Maya Kaplan is a senior at Pace Academy. She became interested in the Covenant House when she participated in their annual sleepout to raise awareness for homeless youth during her sophomore year. The next year she applied for and was selected into their Scholars in Service Program, where she interacted with the residents and was moved to action to help combat youth homelessness. With her partner, Spencyr Aronson, Maya set out to raise $15,000, but ended up raising over $50,000 to support the Covenant House’s mission. Maya and Spencyr also launched a Post-Secondary Education Fund for the Covenant House with the $2,500 Scholars in Service Award that they received in recognition of their service. This fund will help homeless youth access college, getting the opportunity to succeed and reach their full potentials. Maya and Spencyr are planning to lead the sleepout this coming year, and have also founded a school club that will bring surplus cafeteria food to Covenant House to help feed residents on weekends. In addition to her work with the Covenant House, Maya also has worked with issues of diversity and inequality. This past summer, she interned with the Center for Civil and Human Rights where she connected with many non-profits in an effort to learn about various needs and issues around Atlanta.
Second Place Winner – Angelica Krubeck
Angelica is an 8th grader at Veritas Classical Preparatory School. At age 9, she started Super Science Kids, Inc., a nonprofit with the mission of empowering and engaging at risk youth into the field of science, mathematics, and engineering. While serving, she’s recognized the impact youth empowerment can have. Angelica shares, “It’s not just about the science. It’s truly about showing the kids the amazing power they have within themselves. They can create a reaction, an effect, or even change things to work better and when they realize this their faces light up!” Aside from running her own nonprofit, Angelica has completed service projects/volunteered for the following organizations: Smiley for Kylie Childhood Cancer Research, Grace for Education, Ronald McDonald House, organizing a community Veteran’s Day Celebration, Save the Horses, Student’s Rebuild, PaperforWater.org, Little Free Library, Meals by Grace, UERA, GenerationOn, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, Jesse’s House Girls and many more. Angelica’s goal as a community servant is to continue learning and growing as a service leader, develop opportunities for youth to serve youth, and empower at-risk students. Aside from service, she enjoys expressing creativity by studying her 10th year at Sawnee School of Ballet as a ballerina and drawing.
Third Place Winner - Mikayla Cordell
Mikayla Cordell recently graduated from Decatur High School and is currently a freshman at Georgia Southern University. Mikayla, a founding member of Teens Against Domestic Violence advisory board, has been a part of the advisory board for past three years. She first got involved after attending a leadership camp. As a member of the TADV advisory board While Mikayla helped plan the 2018 Teen Summit. At the Summit, Mikayla led two workshops. The first workshop focused on self-love and participants were asked what they thought about themselves and she helped moderated discussions on self-love and self-image. Participants also had a chance to create a self-portrait of their positive traits using cutouts of words and images from magazines. The second workshop Mikayla led was the parent workshop, which was designed to help facilitate teen and adult conversations. During this workshop, parents were encouraged to focus on how they could eliminate barriers and improve the opportunity to have open dialogue about dating violence with their teens. Mikayla’s work continues to leave an impact on Partnership Against Domestic Violence and the individuals and organizations they serve. Mikayla’s workshop on self-love has been replicated at many PADV education events including a series of educational seminars in 2018 for youth in foster care Independent Living Programs across the state of Georgia.