Daily Point of Light # 2554 Nov 19, 2003

Heather Parkin is very active in her community. Most youth and adults alike in Ottawa know Heather or know of some of the work she has done for Ottawa through Ottawa’s Youth Action Council (YAC) and Youth in Government (YIG) programs.

Heather currently serves as the Secretary of YAC, and she served as the Historian last year. Within the last 12 months she has dedicated more than 150 hours of volunteer service with this organization. Heather has been a part of working on Habitat for Humanity houses and taking at risk youth to various sporting events.

Through YAC, Heather has also served on several committees. She planned events for Make A Difference Day. She also serves on the fundraising committee, where she has helped raise more than $1,000 for several projects. Heather has also participated in all of the National Days of Service and has been to numerous communities including Arkansas City and Salt Lake City to speak about youth involvement.

Outside of YAC organized events, Heather volunteers at the hospital. She has various duties which include but are not limited to taking patients to x-ray, welcoming patients and bringing charts tot he doctors. She is more involved in the summer months when she spends a good part of her time during the day helping others. Last summer, Heather volunteered in excess of 50 hours at the hospital alone.

Heather also participates in YIG where she can continue to serve as a strong advocate for youth. She and the other seven YIG members spent five months planning a 7th and 8th grade Youth Leadership Camp. Their mission was to show youth that they could be leaders in their own community at any age. Heather was very involved and worked additional hours each week to make sure it was a success. The YIG members raised a little more than $10,000, which resulted in the camp being inexpensive for the participants. She was very happy about this because anyone who wanted to attend could afford to do so. The camp was a successful three-day and two night event.

Heather’s participation in YAC and YIG meets a community need; she is connecting other youth with opportunities to serve. She plans service projects and recruits her peers to join her in improving their community. As a direct result of the Youth Leadership Camps, five new youth joined YAC and have all applied to join YIG also. In addition, 40 other youth have expressed an interest in joining YAC as a result of Heather’s dedication.