(Apple Valley)– The stereotype that teenagers only want to play video games and watch television does not apply to nearly 150 teens who have donated their time since the Town of Apple Valley’s Teen Zone was created four years ago. From volunteering with the Park and Recreation Department’s day camp to assisting at blood drives, and from face painting at community events to donating time at the library, the youth in the community are a valuable resource that is not taken lightly.
“Right now, we have an active group of 38 teen volunteers,” said program coordinator Alicia Dannelley. “In June and July alone, Teen Zone members volunteered a total of 1,167 hours.”
Six of these Teen Zone volunteers were honored at the August 23 council meeting for reaching at least 100 hours of community service, an accomplishment that Dannelley noted happened more quickly than usual.
“They reached this achievement by coming in almost every day to volunteer with the Recreation Department’s Day Camp,” Dannelley said. “I’m really proud of this group for dedicating the majority of their summer to helping the recreation staff and the children in our community.”
Recipients of the awards were Victoria Barker, Ella Gilmer, Erika Jolley, Khallil Marshall Faith Velasquez and Kara Cantwell, who donated an impressive 187 hours.
The Teen Zone Program is open to teens 13 to 16 years old. It offers the opportunity to volunteer within Town departments, as well as assist other non-profit community-based programs. Members learn valuable work experience and can earn community service hours for school. Call Alicia Dannelley at (760) 240-7000 ext. 7891 for additional information or to apply for the program.