We met Ellie and Matthew as a result of their volunteer work with the Marine Park Alliance, a non-profit organization in Brooklyn, NY dedicated to providing cultural, environmental and volunteer programming for the health and well-being of all New Yorkers in the city’s largest park. Impressive is an understatement for these two young people who each qualified for the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) – Gold Level.

Serving over 250 hours within a twelve month period as a volunteer for several organizations; Ellie participated in community service and school events, food drives and Key Club (a renowned international non-profit known to attract students who value community service). Despite the time she puts into her studies as an Honors Student at her high school, a member of the National and Spanish Honor Societies, musical performances as a orchestral violinist, competing in regional and national Irish dance competitions and more, Ellie still finds time to serve her community as a volunteer in a variety of ways. Whether volunteering at a local Girl Scout troop or teaching and performing with younger kids at local schools, nursing homes, and community centers, Ellie leads by example and is an inspiration to others.  Ellie qualified for the PVSA in the Young Adult category.

Matthew, as a HS Freshman, qualified in the Teen category by serving over 150 volunteer hours within a twelve month period. While he may have been inspired by the example of his remarkable older sister, his service is also quite impressive. Giving his time to Key Club, the Marine Park Alliance, performing with the Irish dance school at nursing homes and community events, he is also an Eagle Scout, a member of the Order of Arrow (Scouting National Honor Society) and a Den Chief for the Cub Scouts. He too has a very busy life as an Honor Student, concert and orchestral violinist, playing two interscholastic sports at his high school (JV Soccer and Freshman Basketball) and competing locally and regionally in Irish dance competitions. Matthew’s commitment to community conservation projects, service and school events, food drives and more is inspiring to anyone who has the opportunity to work with him.

As amazing as these two siblings are in all that they are able to do in the community, anyone can serve their community in some way. We at mpfusa.org encourage everyone to offer some of your time and passion to serving others. The people you meet and the gratification you can receive can be profound. You may learn things you didn’t know and even discover hidden talents within yourself. If we can be of any help to you in discovering opportunities to serve, reach out to us through our website.