Issaquah High School senior wins President’s Volunteer Service Award
December 20, 2011
By Charlotte Anthony
Issaquah High School senior Allie Lustig won the silver level President’s Volunteer Service Award for more than 200 hours of community service with the city of Issaquah during 2010.
The silver level award is given by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation to young adults who complete 175 to 249 hours of community service to thank and honor Americans who have inspired others to engage in volunteer service.
Lustig said that it was important for her to volunteer to give back to the community.
“I think you should give back to the places that give to you,” she said. “I grew up here and now that I’m going to college, I feel good that I gave back to the community that gave so much to me.”
In addition to an official President’s Volunteer Service Award lapel pin and a personalized certificate of achievement, Lustig also received a congratulatory letter from President Barack Obama.
“I think that it’s absolutely wonderful that she won the award, because service in your community is part of learning about your world,” said Barbara de Michele, executive director of the Issaquah Community Network. “It teaches you about how other people live and how people are, and that’s an important part of education.”
Besides serving as a student representative for the Issaquah Community Network board of directors, Lustig is also co-president of the city’s Youth Advisory Board.
As part of the Youth Advisory Board, Lustig has worked to plan community service projects such as coordinating a food drive with Safeway to help raise 1,200 pounds of food for the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank.
De Michele said that volunteers are an important part of our society.
“I think it sends an important message in our community that volunteering is valued,” she said of the award.
Issaquah Parks & Recreation Coordinator Cathy Jones, who has known Lustig for three years, said that it has been inspirational for her to see the important work that Lustig has done for the community.
“From the get-go, she has been active and involved, and her peers on the board have looked to her as a leader,” Jones said. “She’s organized, dependable, self-motivated and what drives all of that is that she is passionate … that’s what’s so inspiring about her.”
Jones said that recognition is important because it serves as a model for younger students to see that there is something to strive for.
“Allie is definitely a standout, but when I work with the Youth Advisory Board, these kids are the cream of the crop with their leadership, community service and passion for going above and beyond,” Jones said. “I am sure we will see more of these awards coming through our doors.”
Lustig plans to major in computer engineering with an emphasis on business and marketing, and she hopes to work in the field of high-tech product management.
Charlotte Anthony is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.