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Three OFA students recognized for community service work

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Three Ogdensburg Free Academy seniors have been honored with the President’s Volunteer Service Award for their work with the Key Club.

Madeleine Ward, Matthew Snodgrass and William (Jack) Vielhauer were recognized for the time they’ve dedicated to community service over the past several years.

The award, co-sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, was presented by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of President Barack H. Obama.

“It’s not typical that we would have three winners [in one year],” Christina Frank, Key Club faculty adviser, said. “This year we have a really strong group of seniors.”

Ms. Ward and Mr. Snodgrass have been with the Key Club for four years.

“My friends were doing it, and some older people from my swim team told me to join Key Club because it was something fun to do while helping your community,” Ms. Ward said.

Mr. Snodgrass also joined up when his friends became involved in their freshman year.

“I realized that a lot of my friends and a lot of the seniors were talking about Key Club. I don’t know what it was,” he said.

But after the first volunteer event, where they cleaned up the trail behind John F. Kennedy Elementary School, he was hooked.

“That was what the first thing that really got me involved,” Mr. Snodgrass said.

Both Mr. Snodgrass and Ms. Ward have participated in the Read and Lead program at the Boys and Girls Club and worked at the annual Remington Gala.

Mr. Vielhauer, a five-year veteran of Key Club, serves on the Key Club International Board of Trustees where he oversees the Jamaica, Missouri-Arkansas and eastern Iowa-Illinois Key Club districts.

In his work with Key Club International, Mr. Vielhauer helps coordinate with his districts to ensure they are getting and understanding the material they need.

Each of the students who received the President’s Volunteer Service Award plans on continuing community service work in college.

Ms. Ward plans on attending SUNY Plattsburgh where she will study nursing.

Mr. Snodgrass said he has been accepted at Clarkson University, Potsdam, and is going to study software engineering.

Both he and Ms. Ward said they intend on being involved in Circle K, a college-level community service organization affiliated with Kiwanis International.

Mr. Vielhauer is headed to St. Lawrence University, Canton, where he will pursue a degree in communications and nonprofit studies. He plans on studying abroad in Thailand to research the impact of child trafficking in the labor and sex slave industry.

“I eventually want to work for the Polaris Project which focuses on anti-human trafficking,” Mr. Vielhauer said.

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