Jacksonville Teen Receives Congressional Volunteer Award

JACKSONVILLE, NC, July 23, 2013 — On June 19, 2013, an outstanding youth volunteer from Jacksonville, NC, 16-year-old Carol Ann Schwarzenbach, received the Congressional Volunteer Award.  She was presented with the award by NC Senator Richard Burr and NC Congressman Walter Jones at a ceremony in Washington, DC.

16-year-old, Carol Ann Schwarzenbach of Jacksonville, receives the Congressional Volunteer Award.

16-year-old, Carol Ann Schwarzenbach of Jacksonville, receives the Congressional Volunteer Award.

“Receiving the award was a life changing experience,” said Carol Ann. “This whole experience gave me a sense of personal pride and accomplishment.”

Carol Ann completed more than 400 hours of volunteer service with the Onslow County Chapter of the American Red Cross while working to earn the award.  Carol Ann and her mother Carol Schwarzenbach have both been dedicated Red Cross volunteers over the years.

“Carol Ann has served as my volunteer executive assistant for a number of years,” said Joy Branham, CEO for the Onslow County Chapter of the American Red Cross. “She is extremely professional, dependable, and intelligent.”

Some of Carol Ann’s job duties at the Red Cross included assembling outreach packages to families of military recruits; preparing awards for donors; assistance with event preparation and planning; and mentoring other youth volunteers.

“There were many facets to this program and Carol Ann had to get out of her comfort zone to succeed,” said Carol.  “I am very proud of the fact that she was always able to effectively evaluate her milestones and use them as motivators to achieve her objective.”

Applicants for the Congressional Volunteer Program must fulfill four components to qualify for the award in the areas of voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness, and exploration/expedition.

“My mom motivated me to apply for the Congressional Award Program,” said Carol Ann. “If it weren’t for my mom I probably wouldn’t be where I am today.”

To complete the program requirements, Carol Ann volunteered with the Red Cross, played piano and participated in her church group, played both soccer and volleyball, and explored New York City on a recent trip.

When Carol Ann found the Red Cross, she knew that was the organization she wanted to volunteer with.  The other Red Cross staff and volunteers mentored Carol Ann and taught her about the different programs and services the organization provides to the community.

“The staff at the chapter is genuinely nice people who made me feel safe and comfortable,” said Carol Ann. “The volunteers I worked with were extremely supportive of what I was trying to do and they always wanted to know what my next adventure was going to be. That is one of the many reasons why I couldn’t live without the Red Cross in my life.”

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