Gloucester student Soo Ae Ono honored for service


Jenna Taormina

Soo Ae poses with the President’s Volunteer Service Award

JENNA TAORMINA, Staff Writer/ Editor

Soo Ae Ono, a tenth grade student at Gloucester High School, has been honored for her exemplary volunteer and community service with the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

“I feel that it’s an honor and it’s not something that I thought I would get,” said Ono. “I feel like I do service not for recognition but for the community or to help people in general.”

Soo Ae was nominated by Gloucester High School in the fall of 2015. The award is granted by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards on behalf of President Barack Obama to recognize Americans who volunteer a significant amount of their time to serve their communities and their country.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is co-sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) which serves to recognize middle and high school level students across America for their outstanding community service.

“In my Inaugural Address, I stated that we need a new era of responsibility- a recognition on the part of every American that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world,” President Obama said in a letter to Soo Ae. “Your volunteer service demonstrates the kind of commitment to your community that moves America a step closer to its great promise… Thank you for your devotion to service and for doing all you can to shape a better tomorrow for our great nation.”

The award has various levels which include Bronze, Silver, Gold, and the highest honor, the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award. It is only given to those who have contributed over 4,000 cumulative hours of community service in their lifetime.

Along with the award and honor of presidential recognition, recipients receive a personalized certificate, a congratulatory letter from the president, and an official medallion, coin, or pin.

So far, Soo Ae has accumulated over 460 hours of community service in her time at Gloucester High School.

“She goes to Harvest Meals every week. She’ll help anyone, tutor anyone, and do anything to help any student,” said ROTC program leader Gunner Muth. “She absolutely epitomizes what we want every cadet to do and that’s to give back to the community- not every cadet, what every Gloucester student should do.”