Holly Klotz has been instrumental in the success of "Community of Caring" at West Vigo High School. A concept developed by Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Community of Caring is guided by five core values of caring, respect, responsibility, trust, and family. Holly has modeled these values in classroom discussions, parental involvement, teen forums and school-based service learning.
A two-year member of the school's student leadership class, Holly serves as a WinCorps/AmeriCorps volunteer and completed 900 WinCorps service-learning hours last year. As a student leader, she has participated in projects both across the curriculum and extra-curricular activities. Holly has participated as a service volunteer for the past four years during the annual "Make A Difference Day" efforts. She has served as a student leader, organizing over 250 West Vigo students in a major clean-up effort on National Avenue in West Terre Haute. She has also been instrumental in the development of a positive reputation for the school and community.
In addition to these service efforts, Holly has successfully written youth grants to complete Make A Difference Day projects. She developed an elementary forum fostering decision-making skills needed to improve school and community. Three elementary schools participated with the high school on Make A Difference Day. Holly also serves as a volunteer for a local nursing home in their Adopt-a-Grandparent Program visiting her elder friend on a weekly basis. As a result, more students participate in the project.
Teen pregnancy prevention is a goal of Community of Caring and is supported by Indiana RESPECT. Holly has been a vocal about abstinence education, communicating her personal decision-making skills to community youth. She participates in monthly activities promoting abstinence as the best choice for youth. She recently led a school overnight with 24 "Baby Think It Over" babies and 19 eighth grade girls. Her leadership has fostered the rapid growth of students making the commitment to abstinence. WestSide RESPECT is the largest club in the school, thanks to Holly's efforts.
The work that Holly has done for her school and community has been extensive. She is a tutor in the local elementary schools and supports the America Reads challenge. She is also involved in sports and recently organized a basketball clinic for the local Women's Special Olympics team. Additionally, Holly has presented the school's more than 50 annual service projects at regional, state and local conferences. Her efforts help children, youth, elderly and educators by demonstrating the value of learning while serving to meet community needs.