Donna Schoonover

Daily Point of Light # 3498 Jul 2, 2007

Donna Schoonover has impacted the lives of at least 200 Perry County youth through her 262 hours of dedicated service to the Task Force in the past year. She has donated more than 1,400 hours of service to the Task Force in the past 7 years. She is a dependable person who thrives on helping others and will go the extra mile to help someone in need. Her willingness to share her ideas and problems helps her to be a successful communicator with the youth in our community. Through her service to the Task Force Schoonover serves as a role model for younger individuals and demonstrates a positive outlook on life. Schoonover’s serving as a peer mentor and as a role model has impacted the lives of many Perry County Youth. Her leadership and dedication will have lasting results on these youth's lives and lead to more positive decision-making and stronger positive youth. She builds connections with all the youth she works with and with the community around her. She takes an innovative approach to helping the youth by connecting with them in and way she can find. Without her influence, many Perry County youth would not have a positive role model to look up to or anyone to turn to when in need.

Schoonover has been a mentor with CHAMPS Mentoring Program for 7 years and has assisted two at-risk high school youth and two middle school youth during this time. She continues to provide them with support and assistance. She has donated 52 hours of time to her mentees in the past year and a total of 364 hours of time to these youth since beginning the program. She also donates 28 hours a year to all of the mentors and mentees in the CHAMPS Mentoring Program. This totals 196 hours of donated time for her crafting classes over the past 7 years.

The CHAMPS Out-of-School Program began 5 years ago for 16-21 year olds who have dropped out of school and are working on getting their GED. Within this program volunteers assist the coordinator, in helping these youth believe in them, prioritize, learn the skills needed for getting a job, set goals and learning communication skills. Weekly sessions from 5:30-7:00 have been designed to help communities youth get the knowledge and skills they need to reach their goals, so that they can benefit the community by finding worthwhile jobs that they can be successful at. Schoonover has been volunteering 78 hours a year to this program totaling 546 donated hours in the past 7 years of service.

Seeking Answers has been running for more than 4 years, and is a program for 16-21 year olds who are "seeking answers to substance use issues." Weekly sessions are held for an hour to help youth think about how their decisions are affecting their lives, what circumstances attribute to them making these decisions, and what healthy alternatives to using substances are. This group also tries to help youth set goals and assess if their actions are helping them achieve these goals, as well as assess how close they are to becoming an addict verses a social user. Another goal of this group is to help the youth understand that everyone makes mistakes, and it is best to learn from that mistake and move on. This program benefits our community by providing a support system for youth who are using substances and need encouragement to change. Schoonover became involved with this group prior to its actual formation. She has donated 52 hours to this program in the past year and more that 208 hours to Seeking Answers since its inception.

Seeking Answers About Substances (SAAS) is similar to the Seeking Answers Program, but it is age appropriately designed for 12-15 year olds. Weekly sessions are held from 4:00-5:00 p.m. at the Community Center. She has been an intricate part of this group since it began. She has donated 52 hours of service to this program in the past year and a total of 182 hours in the past 3 1/2 years since the program began.

Schoonover has therefore donated a total of 262 hours of dedicated time and service to the Perry County Community Task Force in the past year, and 1,496 hours of service since she began volunteering for the Task Force 7 years ago.

She is also part of the funding commi8ttee that has started 2 years ago to help come up with fundraising ideas for the Perry County Community Task Force. She was then nominated by the committee to be the President. She served and continues to serve as the committee's President.

Schoonover has assisted 116 youths through her volunteer work with the Perry County Community Task Force in the past year, and continues her dedicated service to Perry County youth.