Tyler Baldwin – Silent Servant Winner and Hero

In the middle of the night of November 29th, 2021 Tyler Baldwin proved himself to be a real life hero. Upon being alerted that his elderly neighbor’s home was on fire, and knowing that the gentleman could not walk very well, Tyler ran across the road and into the burning house to help. Tyler ran into the flames and was able to carry the gentleman to safety.

This heroic young man saved a life that morning while sustaining an injury to his hand and neck, even though he has no recollection of how he was injured. Tyler is very humble when asked about the incident or his bravery. He remains the calm and collected student known and loved by all at Braxton County High. He is a true Silent Servant. ​

Tyler is a dedicated member of the Law and Public Safety Career and and Technical Education pathway at Braxton County High School. He has an interest in joining the workforce as a community servant as either a DNR officer or fire fighter. Tyler is also a stellar baseball player and plays for the BCHS Eagles as the second baseman and pitcher, while also playing on a travel team year round. He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys all activities that include hunting and fishing.

In school, Tyler is respected among his peers as he is always positive and willing to lend a helping hand. He can always be found hard at work no matter what environment or activity in which he is taking part. His teachers and coaches report that he is not only an excellent student in the classroom but is an all around good guy. The type the world needs more of.

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Silent Servant Winner – Abigail Rodgers

Abigail Rodgers’ teachers at Baldwin High School in Pittsburg, PA say Abby (as she is called) is a wonderful representation of what Baldwin High School students are. She goes above and beyond in all aspects of her life and her selflessness is unparalleled.

Abby tirelessly volunteers at an annual week long event, named the Rollettes Experience, for women that are wheelchair users. She has multiple responsibilities, works the merchandise table, and helps set up the ballroom for the different events everyday. She is also available for anyone who needs assistance with picking something up, going to the bathroom, or being pushed across the room in their chairs. In addition, she prepares gift bags and helps organize the sponsor tables.

Abby is also an active member of the Best Buddies and Special Olympics Clubs and ran both of those booths at the Activities Fair this school year. She recruited new members, informed all curious students and is truly a role model to those around her. 

Recently she helped facilitate a free dress exchange to help those in need in our community. Abby collected dresses, shoes, ties, jewelry, shirts, and pants and helped display all of the available items. She not only helped customers find the perfect pieces for them but also advertised and encouraged students to find something just right, so that they felt confident and excited to attend the school dances in the fall.

Abby volunteers her time tutoring as well, helping students to stay organized with their schoolwork and understanding difficult concepts. She also participated in Baldwin’s annual costume fundraiser and collected donations for the KDKA Turkey Fund to help provide holiday meals for families in need.

Abby is incredibly amazing to all of her peers and goes out of her way to make sure they all feel included, cared for, and appreciated on a daily basis. She has a positive impact on not just her school, but in her community as well. @BHSActivities, @BWSDNHS, @BWSDsuper, @BWSDNews

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Silent Servant Award Winners – Abdiraqib Hersi

Abdiraqib Hersi of Beaverton HS in Beaverton, OR, or Abdi as he is known, is a true Silent Servant. Abdi has quietly volunteered hundreds of hours throughout his entire high school years building houses for Habitat for Humanity. Abdi’s story, and that of his entire family, is an excellent example of how we can experience the satisfaction of personal fulfillment that comes from serving others, and how Habitat for Humanity changes lives.

Abdi’s family lives in a Habitat for Humanity house. And this is how he and his younger siblings first learned the value of selflessly serving others. As a result, he began to volunteer countless hours of his own time over the years… building homes for others. Abdi is also involved in basketball and plays for a club team. He hopes to attend a Jr. College or Community College where he can continue to play.

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Silent Servant Winners – Benjamin Kagan

After an effort over several weeks last year to help book coronavirus vaccination appointments for his Grandparents, Benjamin Kagan, a 9th grader at Francis W. Parker School in Chicago founded ChicagoVaccineHunters.com. The website now has a waitlist of 250 people asking for his help. “The vaccination system is just so complicated,” Kagan said. “If you don’t understand the technology, you are just going to lose out and not be vaccinated. And that’s difficult. People were sending me private messages saying ‘Benjamin, I can’t figure this out — can you book it for me?’”

Kagan realized many elderly people, his grandparents included, were not familiar with the “refresh” button on an internet web page, which allows the browser to reload online content for new updates. “Plus, every country, state, even pharmacy has its own online maze,” Kagan says. Kagan first joined the “Chicago Vaccine Hunters Facebook group, but was inspired to create his own group called “Chicago Vaccine Angels,” where he and a team of 50 volunteers respond to a Google form to assist a growing list of senior citizens who are asking for help.

Thousands of people have joined the group on Facebook where members share information with one another about where they might be able to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in Chicago using leftover doses that presumably would have to be otherwise discarded.

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Silent Servant Award Winners – Riley Stuttz

Riley Stuttz truly represents the model of a empathetic Silent Servant. Riley attends Deer Park High School-South Campus in Deer Park, Texas. During 2020’s pandemic-filled summer, Riley worked a part-time job and used the money he earned to purchase 24 backpacks filled with school supplies and personal items.

Riley’s backpacks were then given anonymously by school counselors to needy students at Deer Park High School. When Riley was asked why he did this, he stated that he, “…wanted to promote kindness in our society”. To present the award Deer Park created a video presentation on being kind to each other that was shown to the student body during their in-school broadcast, Deer Time.

Through the Peter R. Marsh Foundation’s Silent Servant Award, we recognize and reward students like Riley across America who unselfishly provide empathetic service to their communities. We provide students a tax-free $500 check and beautiful crystal award that schools can use to help improve their school culture by rewareding and encouraging selfless service in all students.

Do you know a Silent Servant? Any member of a high school’s staff many nominate a student for our award. It’s not a contest. Schools choose the student and, if they meet the simple guidelines, we send the award. Ususally within 2-3 weeks. To nominate a student go to: https://www.prmfoundation.org/student-nomination-form/

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Middle School Music Grant Program Director

The Peter R. Marsh Foundation was proud to add our new Middle School Music Grant program this year, and we’re particularly pleased to now introduce Jan Greco as the Program Director.

Embarrassingly shy and self-conscious as a young girl, terrified of being in the spotlight, Jan avoided many of the childhood experiences that develop social and emotional intelligence at all cost. Common events such as delivering an oral report from the front of the classroom, performing at piano recitals or challenging for “first chair” in junior high band were far outside her comfort zone and she refused to participate, receiving little to no encouragement from her teachers or peers.

Unfortunately, bowing out of these opportunities fed the fears and hampered her personal growth and development for many years. Now a grandmother, Jan understands and appreciates the distinct life-value of those educational moments and is delighted to serve the Peter R. Marsh Foundation as Middle School Music Grant Program Director.

Jan is particularly inspired by the Foundation’s quest to aid in the social and emotional development of children and greatly encouraged by the focus on community service and relationships, particularly between students and the oft-neglected senior citizens across the country.

If you want more information about the Middle School Music Grant, please see our website at: www.prmfoundation.org or email Jan at: jgreco@prmfoundation.org.

Here’s Jan and her husband, Joe…

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Silent Servant Award Winners – Yessenia Marin

Yessenia Marin was a senior last year at Borrego Springs High School in Borrego Springs, CA. She actively served her school and community by participating in many fundraising and community events.

Yessenia knew even before COVID that the Borrego Little League was in desperate need of people to help work with children on the baseball teams and organizing the little league’s snack bar. So she started going regularly after school to help.

She also knew that during Covid, many families in her small community lost jobs and were facing hard times. So Yessinia helped organize several community groups that have come together to host a food bank for families in need, and she has continued to volunteer one day a week at the food bank since it opened, assisting families to make sure they have enough food.

Yessenia is also a member of the Soroptomist Club and has worked diligently to raise funds for projects in India, and local programs that served her community. She truly serves from the heart because she wants the community she lives in to be a better place for all families. This belief in service has led her to want a career where she can help people and she’s thinking about a career in Law Enforcement.

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Elijah Wooden’s Thank You

At the Peter R. Marsh Foundation, we know that we’re not only making a difference in student’s lives, but that they in turn are serving and helping so many others. We know it because we get cards and emails like the one below from recent Silent Servant Award winner Elijah Wooden of Muscogee HS in Muscogee, OK:

From: Elijah Wooden
Sent: Tuesday, August 24, 2021 5:59 PM
To: Jim Warford
Subject: Thank you!

Dear Mr. Warford,

My name is Elijah Wooden and I have recently been notified by my teacher Mr. Stinson that I was awarded the “Student Silent Servant Award”. I just wanted to say thank you so much, I am beyond grateful to be selected for this award! It is truly an honor to have been nominated for this award as there are so many other great students serving.


This award has deeply motivated me to keep serving in my community and to keep helping others. I truly believe servanthood is a vital key to leadership and an important component to have in our society. I pledge to keep progressing in servanthood and to keep helping others even when there is nothing in return.


Once again, I want to thank you and the Peter R. Marsh Foundation for selecting me for this award! I can’t wait to serve even more this year and help bring a positive change within my community. Thank you!


Elijah Wooden

If you’d like more information about the Peter R. Marsh Foundation, contact us at: www.prmfoundation. org or me personally at jwarford@prmfoundation.org.

Have a great day!

Jim

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Middle School Music Grant

The Peter R. Marsh Foundation is proud to annouce we are expanding to middle schools this year by introducing a Middle School Music Grant Program! I’m personally proud because, as readers of my book, The Chemistry of Culture, know… The teacher who most changed my life was my Chorus teacher, Mary Kay Jones.

The purpose of our Music Grant Program is to support middle schools in their efforts to embed social and emotional intelligence in students. Student participation in public service activities is widely recognized as an effective way to accomplish this objective. Our grant supports student public service by providing funds music teachers can use to enhance their school music education program.

The “Music Grant Guidelines” at the link below address the need for student-service music performances to senior audiences. Live audience performances nurture skill, focus and confidence that pays dividends in other parts of the musician’s life.

The senior audience has considerable availability and is readily accessible in an assortment of senior living facilities, retirement communities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, senior centers, senior events and ceremonies, churches and through military/veterans’ organizations such as the VFW, American Legion and the VA.

No audience has a greater appreciation for children and student performances than do senior citizens. Through post-performance personal interaction with the seniors, the students will receive praise for their public service and encouragement to continue to serve.  The personal engagement with the audience supports the primary purpose of the Music Grant Program and helps connect schools to their local community.

For more information got to: https://www.prmfoundation.org/music-grant/

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Natalie Flechas – Vanguard High School, Ocala, FL

Natalie Flechas is a Senior at Vanguard High School in Ocala, FL, where she is Co-President of the Senior class and National Honor Society. Natalie makes everyone who walks into the school feel welcome. She leads with compassion and is liked and respected by all, because she leads by example.

Natalie is a counselor at the Royal Family Kids Camp, which is a camp for abused and neglected foster children. Natalie was nervous to be a counselor because she knew she could have a big impact on children’s lives. What she didn’t expect was that these kids would impact her life in the significant way that it did. She says she learned so much about how just one person’s actions and one person’s love could change the way these kids not only thought about themselves but what their life is worth. For some of these kids, camp was the only place where love and affection were shown to them.

In a year when nothing was ‘normal’ Natalie really stepped up. From her club adopting 30+ foster kids (and getting enough donations to get almost everything on their Christmas wish lists), to sending snacks to all of the essential workers at all three local hospitals, City and County Fire Department, the Health Department, and all seven City Fire Departments, to making homemade Valentines for every resident at three different nursing homes, to keeping Vanguard’s Positivity Wall filled with Positivity Posters, to collecting warm socks for nursing homes. Natalie was instrumental in every one of these projects as well as keeping track of volunteer hours, paperwork, agendas, and so much more behind the scenes duties.

Natalie organized and led Warm Ocala’s Soles. The purpose of this project was to collect socks for the homeless in Ocala. She was able to organize and set up collection boxes at various local businesses throughout Ocala and even advertised through local radio stations. Through much hard work She was able to collect over 2,000 pairs of socks. Natalie Flechas is a true “Silent Servant” helping to make this world a much better place to live.

To nominate a student or for more information contact us at: www.prmfoundation.org

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