Each year, the Junior League of Greenwich designates $2,500 of
its funds to be awarded to a local female high school student through its Community Service Award.
The grant is intended to recognize a high school student who exemplifies the mission of the Junior League of Greenwich by demonstrating sustained commitment to community service. The recipient must be someone whose volunteer activities demonstrate initiative and show significant and sustained commitment to community service and leadership.
The Junior League of Greenwich presented this year’s Community Service Award to Christine Kao, a senior at Greenwich Academy, at its Annual Dinner in May. Christine has been involved in the community as Vice President of Safe Rides, a Senior Ambassador for Kids Helping Kids Stamford, working as an Assistant Ice Skating coach for the Skyliners Synchronized Ice Skating Team and as a STEM Camp Counselor at the India Cultural Center. But most impressive was her commitment to teaching flute at Waterside Elementary School. As a visiting concert band teacher for the after school program, Christine has led small group instruction in flute for anywhere from 3-5 students every Friday for the past three years.
“She has a touch with students uncommon in music education, and each student leaves her sessions smiling, laughing, and determined to improve,” said Jonny Duennebier, head of music at Waterside School.
As Christine said, “Many students in underserved districts never have the opportunity to experience a musical education, so when I was asked to volunteer at Waterside Elementary School, I jumped at the opportunity. Every week, I look forward to this activity and challenge. Working with my students is not just about teaching a new skill; it is about training them to keep trying, even when something is difficult. After three years of teaching, I never tire of how excited they get when they master a new skill. Community service is something I do because I believe one person can change the lives of others. Small acts of kindness remind us that there is good in the world, and in an ever-changing society, these acts are the foundation for a brighter future.”
Christine plans to use this award to create a fund for the repair of instruments at Waterside Elementary. Christine graduated from Greenwich Academy in May and will continue to serve her community at Georgetown University next year. Congratulations Christine Kao and thank you for making an impact in our community!
Applications for the 2019 Community Service Award will be available in the fall of 2018 at www.jlgreenwich.org.