By Chris Morrow, Director of Service LearningThis article appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of the Tower Hill Bulletin
The Jefferson Awards Foundation, the nation’s most prestigious and longest-standing organization dedicated to powering and celebrating public service, selected Tower Hill as the 2017 Delaware Recipient for Outstanding Service by a High School. A panel of local judges chose Tower Hill for leadership, engagement and impact around service in school and for philanthropic contributions to the community.
Alexis Wrease ‘17 represented the school at a recognition luncheon at the Chase Center at the Riverfront in April before elected officials and community leaders, among them former Gov. Mike Castle ‘57 and Sen. Chris Coons ‘81.
Tower Hill’s Students in Action team then represented Delaware at the Jefferson Awards annual gala in Washington, D.C., on June 22, attended by Katy Craft ‘20 and Baily Faller ‘20. The students met with Sen. Coons and Sen. Tom Carper before attending a formal dinner and the awards ceremony.
“For 45 years, our mission has been to amplify and celebrate those representing the very best of America —those who see a need and dedicated themselves to meeting it,” said Hillary Schafer, CEO of the Jefferson Awards Foundation. “We’re proud to recognize these great honorees, dedicated to creating change, on both a local and national scale.”
The Tower Hill Students In Action team’s vision was to provide a variety of service opportunities for the school community while engaging a larger portion of the student body, creating a service-oriented culture and effecting change in the greater community. Social media and various school communication outlets were used to provide information and garner participation. The team raised over $500 at its annual “Hunger Games” dodgeball tournament to purchase Thanksgiving turkeys for the NOR Enterprise Turkey Drive and $1,300 for Habitat for Humanity at its “Hoops for Habitat” basketball game. Through collaboration and teamwork, the team’s efforts resulted in a financial impact of over $108,000.
The Jefferson Awards Students in Action is currently operating in 400 high schools nationwide and in 13 regions: Boston, Chicago, Delaware, Central Florida, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New Jersey, New York, Pittsburgh, the San Francisco Bay Area, South Carolina and Toledo. This was the first time that Tower Hill was selected as the Delaware Recipient for Outstanding Service.