Honors at CST luncheon

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Megan Czerwinski, a Northgate High School ninth-grader, has been named the winner of the first annual Community Service Team scholarship from the Coweta Community Foundation. The award was presented May 7 at the group’s luncheon at Banning Mills.

The youth heard an inspiring address from Georgia’s Coca-Cola Scholar, Raahina Malik of Fayette County High School. Malik shared with the group some of her own experiences of volunteering and told them, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Also at the luncheon, Community Service Team members Mary Nichols Lollis, Megan Czerwinski and Michelle McGrath presented a grant to Community Welcome House, the local nonprofit that the members of the CST chose to support this year. Welcome House Board Member Herb Cranford, who also sits on the board of the Coweta Community Foundation, accepted the award.

Assisting in the day’s events were Coweta Community Foundation Board Members Cynthia Bennett and Deidre Bembry, who have worked with the youth all year. Before the lunchtime program, everyone got to enjoy the ropes course at Banning Mills and enjoy some recreation time together.

Sam Huynh, East Coweta High School tenth grader and 2015-2016 chair of the Community Service Team, presented certificates of appreciation to her fellow team members, who included Elizabeth Alexander, Newnan High School ninth grader; Joon Baek, East Coweta High School ninth grader; Gracie Bolton, Landmark Christian School ninth grader; Megan Czerwinski, Northgate High School ninth grader; Chloe Epstein, East Coweta High School ninth grader; Mia Fisher, Northgate High School ninth grader; Emelie Laughner, Northgate High School ninth grader; Mary Nichols Lollis, Landmark Christian School ninth grader; Michelle McGrath, Northgate High School ninth grader; Will Oliver, Landmark Christian School ninth grader; Meredith Rielly, Northgate High School ninth grader; Ryan Spicer-Gordon, East Coweta High School ninth grader; Tyiena Stafford, East Coweta High School ninth grader; Ashley Stephens, Northgate High School tenth grader; Silvia Thompson,  Northgate High School ninth grader; Alani Wight, East Coweta High School tenth grader; and Cameron Williams, Northgate High School ninth grader.

The students, who were recently asked to share some of what they’ve learned over the past year, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve on the Community Service Team.

“We have truly been bowled over by what these youth have been able to accomplish in their first year,” said Ginger Jackson Queener, board chair of the Foundation. “They have surpassed even our greatest hopes for what they would do this year, and we have had an enormous amount of positive feedback about them.”

Members of the Community Service Team operate as a board and form relationships with local nonprofits. The goal is for these young leaders to have the opportunity to sit on a local nonprofit board by the time they are juniors or seniors in high school.

The Coweta Community Foundation is a publicly supported 501(c)3 organization that helps focus local philanthropy on the community’s changing needs. The Foundation manages individual gifts and bequests as an endowed pool of assets, distributing grants to a wide variety of organizations that enhance and support the quality of life in Coweta County, while maintaining the charitable intent of the donors. For more information, call the Foundation at 770-253-1833.