Lion’s Heart Teen Volunteers & Leaders SOV 22

Published: April 12, 2022

Lion's Heart Teen Volunteers & Leaders

Honoree’s Name: Jordan Votava

Award Category: Public Health & Safety

Why This Volunteer is Extraordinary:

Jordan Votava, a senior in high school in San Juan Capistrano, has been a member of Lion’s Heart since 2016. He has received the President’s Volunteer Service Award every year since grade 7, serving more than 595 hours in total, including a full 100 each year during the pandemic when service opportunities were limited.

Jordan is a service-minded teen through and through. He lives in a house where a lot of baking occurs, and his step-dad bakes almost every day. During the pandemic, Jordan wanted to find a way to serve the community using the baked goods coming from his parents’ kitchen so he decided to take the idea of delivering baked goods to people and scale it up. From January 2021 to January 2022, he arranged over 200 deliveries to families in his community.

He created a simple Google form and posted it on social media once a week to ask for recommendations of local families in the community who could use some love and support- in the form of a bag of treats. He thought he might get 3-4 nominations a week… For the first 5 weeks, an average of 20 families have received these goody bags, some with personal messages from the people who nominated the families, others with messages of support from anonymous community members. Each story is unique- some heartwarming, while others were gut-wrenching. From stories of covid and cancer to stories of thanks and blessings, the community outreach that these deliveries achieved is quite remarkable. Since Jordan couldn’t make all of the deliveries on his own, he also recruited a group of his friends to help the cause. They met each Friday after school to divide the bags of goodies by region, and then set off to make people smile.

Honoree’s Name: Kyle Maddox

Award Category: Arts & Education

Why This Volunteer is Extraordinary:

Kyle Maddox has been a member of Lion’s Heart group for the past few years. He has proven to be an outstanding asset to his group, exhibiting teen leadership and successful service to his community.

He commits to volunteering and shows up on time for every scheduled week, with a smile and enthusiasm. During this time in Lion’s Heart, Kyle has volunteered in a wide variety of activities/events including Miracles for Kids, preparing holiday meals for underprivileged families, serving at Second Harvest Food Bank, and numerous environmental projects such as beach clean-up, to name a few.

Kyle’s selfless dedication extends to caring for families with critically ill children during his school holidays and volunteering to help feed those in need at Second Harvest Food Bank. He has a passion for helping kids and even volunteers to help teach younger kids in Taekwondo. He has even shown creativity, during the challenges of the pandemic, by finding ways he can make a difference in his community when regular volunteering wasn’t possible.

Honoree’s Name: Sabrina Zeitawi

Award Category: Environment & Sustainability

Why This Volunteer is Extraordinary:

Sabrina exemplifies the volunteer spirit. She has gone above and beyond in serving her community. One example that illustrates Sabrina’s drive to complete outstanding service community projects is her interest in environmental conservation. When she read on the Sierra Club website that Aliso Beach was declared unfit for swimming, according to the Waters Quality Environmental Act. Sabrina did some research and discovered some of the erosion and pollution issues that impact Aliso Beach originated in Aliso Creek Watershed. She took the initiative to connect with Moulton Niguel Water District to find out ways she can help.

After receiving training from the district’s educational branch, Orange County Coastkeepers, Sabrina led a team in monitoring the water quality in a section of the watershed. She educated her team on the daily practices we can do as a community to conserve water including not washing cars in the driveway, draining swimming pools properly, directing water sprinklers so there’s no runoff, not overfertilizing, and using biodegradable/organic fertilizers instead. She also led her team in conducting regular weekly tests over 3 months to test the physical aspects of water like color, smell, temperature, and turbidity. In addition, she led her team in conducting weekly tests over the period of 3 months of the chemical properties of water such as pH, oxygenation, phosphate, ammonia, and conductivity. This data was then uploaded to the United Nations World Water Project.

Honoree’s Name: Audrey Kim

Award Category: Environment & Sustainability

Why This Volunteer is Extraordinary:

Audrey Kim is a founder of AUDREY4CARE – Care 4 Animals, Respect 4 the Earth. AUDREY4CARE has increased public awareness of the importance of “CARE” not only through communication but also by taking action. They promote current environmental issues within her local community and support local animal rescue groups to help endangered animals and protect the environment. Audrey’s continued interest in making others aware of “CARE” led to the expansion of the project. She invited her classmates to help clean up the beach and raised funds to donate to Pacific Marine Mammal Center as a class project. Audrey voluntarily exhibited her own work showing her “CARE” in local libraries. Audrey also worked closely with the Korean community and spoke at the Korean Business Forum on “CARE.” Additionally, to educate children in the local community during the month of April, Audrey volunteers to teach children in local libraries and schools to tell them about Earth Day. In 2021, Audrey entered the OC Health Care Agency Mask Message Contest to encourage people to wear masks and she awarded her school $6,000 for 2nd place! Audrey has also changed the AUDREY4CARE Earth Day classes to online classes at local schools so she can educate local children during the pandemic. She also started an environmental YouTube channel in French. Audrey also competed in the Rube Goldberg Machine challenge to encourage hand washing and her work was featured on the Rube Goldberg Machine YouTube channel. Audrey and her projects show how powerful the enthusiasm of youth can be, and what remarkable tasks a young person is capable of accomplishing through volunteering.