Eagle River teen honored for volunteerism

Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 17:19
  • Eagle River resident Avery White, 13, received a 2017 Summer of Heroes award at the Alaska State Fair on Aug. 27, 2017. The scholarship award recognizes outstanding youth from communities across Alaska. (Courtesy photo)
  • Eagle River resident Avery White, 13, received a 2017 Summer of Heroes award at the Alaska State Fair on Aug. 27, 2017. Avery has spent more than 260 hours volunteering for organizations ranging from the local Boys and Girls Club to Alaska Animal Rescue Friends. (Courtesy photo)

Even after more than 260 hours of volunteer work, 13-year-old Eagle River resident Avery White isn’t planning on slowing down any time soon.

“My favorite part is probably at the Boys and Girls Club, where you play around with the younger kids,” said White, who volunteers at the local youth center several times per week. “I like mentoring.”

People are noticing. On Sunday, Aug. 27, White was named one of six young winners of a 2017 Summer of Heroes award – a $1,500 scholarship given to youth who make a difference in their community. A partnership between Alaska Communications and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Alaska, the program is now in its seventh year.

The award is intended to honor outstanding youth from communities across the state and Avery fit the bill, according to a spokeswoman for Alaska Communications.

“We’re really looking for those youth who put others above themselves,” said Alaska Communications spokeswoman Hannah Blankenship. “(Avery’s) just kind of established himself as a leader for other children, which is really impressive at the age of 13.”

A student at Gruening Middle School, Avery’s volunteerism runs the gamut: Besides helping younger kids at the local Boys and Girls Club, he’s volunteered at a children’s hospital and helps foster dogs through Alaska Animal Rescue Friends. Volunteering is rewarding all by itself, he said, so the Summer of Heroes award was icing on the cake.

“It felt great,” Avery said. “Being recognized for doing good work in the community feels nice.”

Contact Star reporter Kirsten Swann at kirsten.swann@alaskastar.com.

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