Crosby Scholars volunteer in the community

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 27, 2014

When Zachary Hamm applied to be a Crosby Scholar last fall, one of the requirements he agreed to was completing a minimum of two hours of community service.
“I was excited about it because I knew there were a lot of things I could do,” explains Zachary, who volunteered at the W.G. Hefner VA Medical Center. “My dad served in the military, so I wanted to help other people who were in the military, too.”
The community service element of the program requires each Crosby Scholar to seek out a place in the community to volunteer, to document at least two hours of volunteer service and to submit that documentation to the Crosby Scholars office. Beyond the benefit of becoming involved in the community, volunteering can help with the exploration of career options, and in Zachary’s case, volunteering at the VA has led to a possible interest in becoming a military medic.
For students who have never volunteered in the community before, and aren’t aware of where to look to get involved, Crosby Scholars lists opportunities for involvement on their website.
“We encourage community groups who need volunteers for their events or programs to contact us if they can use middle and/or high school students,” explains Jessica Vess, Crosby program associate. “We keep an updated list of volunteer opportunities on our website so that our students have a resource to turn to when looking for ways to complete their community service requirement.”
“The list is usually quite diverse,” says Vess. “We post opportunities like helping with the Kiwanis Pancake Festival, ushering for the Salisbury Symphony, serving with Rowan County’s Teen Court, and even helping with our Crosby Academies.”
De’Leon Duren, a sophomore at Salisbury High, volunteered during one of Crosby’s sixth-grade academies.
Duren says, “When I did community service for Crosby Scholars I felt good, because I knew I was helping someone better themselves for later on down the road.” Adds Vess, “We want our students to be aware of a variety of service opportunities and to submit their hours to us before the deadline of April 30.”
Currently, just over 200 of more than 1,200 Crosby Scholars have completed their volunteer hours and turned in their documentation.
“Unless we receive a Community Service Form, we have no way of knowing that a student has met this requirement,” explains Vess.
The process is simple. Students can go online to the Crosby Scholar website ( and download a form, or get a copy from their school’s guidance office. Once filled out, students can turn the form into their guidance office, or fax, email or mail them to the Rowan Crosby office. Unfortunately, students who do not send their forms to the Crosby office before the 30th will be dismissed from the program.
For more information about how to get your volunteer opportunity publicized on the Crosby Scholars’ website, contact Jessica Vess at 704-762-3512.