The Silent Servant Award

The new home of my work improving culture is the Peter R. Marsh Foundation, a non-profit,  here in Washington State, where I’ve assumed the role of Program Director. My mission at the Foundation is to promote and support Social Emotional Learning, SEL, in high school students.

Through our Silent Servant Award, we recognize and reward students across America who unselfishly provide empathetic service to their schools and communities. We offer resources and support for schools choosing to make improving their school culture a priority.

In the face of the endless cycle of selfishness and dysfunction playing out in our daily news, it is incredibly inspiring to read about the selfless service students are giving all across America.  Our Foundation has recognized students from New York to California, and Hawaii to the US Virgin Islands. In this space I will begin sharing some of their stories. Maybe they will inspire you too.

Neel Jain
Westview High School, Beaverton, OR

Neel Jain created PDX Concierge, a free grocery delivery service during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. PDX Concierge launched in mid-April after Neel Jain went grocery shopping for his grandmother, whose age and asthma make her vulnerable to the novel coronavirus. “I just realized there are a lot of other people who may not have family and need help,” said Jain.

So far, his team of volunteers has made hundreds of deliveries in the metro Portland and Vancouver, WA area. Clients fill out a form online with their grocery list and volunteers will go buy the groceries and deliver them. Volunteers maintain social distancing guidelines and wear gloves and face masks while they shop. Clients then reimburse volunteers for the cost of the groceries, which are dropped off in front of their homes.

It’s a free service, so tips or donations are used for gas money, maintaining the website and helping pay for groceries for clients who need extra financial assistance. “It’s a great feeling to help out in this hard time,” Jain said. “Kids have a lot of time on their hands with schools being closed. It’s good to be able to put that to use.”

Over the past few years, the Peter R. Marsh Foundation has awarded American high school students the Silent Servant Award. The type of service our Silent Servants perform in their communities is endless.  From helping communities to meet the COVID challenge, serving the homeless, being a mentor, bringing meals to the elderly, or helping prisoners find hope.  Our Award recipients have devoted countless hours over multiple years serving others.  Even more inspiring, they do so without expecting anything in return.  Please visit our website and read more about our Silent Servant Award recipients inspiring stories.

You can find out more at:

About Jim Warford

Jim Warford is the author of, The Chemistry of Culture: Strategies You Can Use to Create a Culture of Learning. For 15 years Jim Warford was Senior Advisor and Keynote Speaker for the International Center for Leadership in Education. Jim is an author, speaker, Leadership and Instructional Coach. He was named in March 2003 as Florida’s first Chancellor of K12 Public Schools. He stepped down in September, 2005 to become Executive Director of the Florida Association of School Administrators, representing over 10,000 Florida school leaders. As a Senior Advisor for the International Center for Leadership in Education, he works with states, districts and schools to provide coaching and executive training and support to school leaders and their staffs. As Florida’s Chancellor, he led the creation and state-wide implementation of Florida’s Continuous Improvement Model, FCIM, which resulted in that state’s dramatic gains in student achievement and an 80% reduction in the number low-performing schools. FCIM remains Florida’s required intervention for all low-performing schools. As Superintendent of the Marion County, Florida Public Schools, he first implemented the Continuous Improvement Model district-wide. As a result, school grades went from three “F”, eight “D” and only one “A” school in 1999 to twenty “A”, 16 “B” and no “F” schools in 2003. Under his leadership the high school dropout rate was cut in half. He taught applied technology courses at the high school level for 17 years and created a Computer Graphics/Video Production program that won many national and state awards. He was named Vanguard High School Teacher of the Year three separate times.
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