LWRWC Scholarship Recipient – Maya Lander

The first order of business at the LWRWC April 13 meeting was the presentation of a $500 Community Service Scholarship to Maya Lander. Maya is an exemplary young woman from LWR High School, a young role model who in addition to her many community service activities, has an impressively high 4.4 weighted GPA!

Pictured L-R: Helene Levin, LWRWC President Co-Advisor, SIG Chair, Maya Lander, 2022 LWRWC Community Service Scholarship Winner, Eileen Buzzard, LWRWC Philanthropy Co-Chair, and Cheryl Gross, LWRWC Philanthropy Co-Chair.

Maya’s accomplishments and extraordinary dedication to community service are best illustrated in her own words in the following interview.

Question 1: Maya, please tell our LWRWC members what inspired your passion for community service?
Answer:   My passion for community service was inspired at a young age as I loved giving back to my community and helping others. Being a Girl Scout helped promote this for me starting in first grade through our various outreach initiatives. After giving back to those around me, I realized how beneficial and needed it is which encouraged me to pursue this more as I still am.

Question 2: What was your most rewarding community service activity?
Answer: My most rewarding community service activity would have to be my Girl Scout Gold Award project, the Relax Room. For this project I created a separate room within Lakewood Ranch High School’s clinic where students can go when feeling stressed or anxious. This room features soft lighting, comfortable pillows and blankets, tangible items to distract a busy mind, and even breathing/grounding techniques. This was rewarding because this room is utilized daily by students, I’m not only happy that I was able to help but also that I could give anxious students an escape.

Question 3: What specific “life skills” did you learn from your community service work?
Answer: Throughout my community service work, I have learned many life skills, but the most important to me would be persistence and time-management in order to make a project possible. My Gold Award project took over 80 hours of research, planning, shopping, designing, implementing, reflection, and improvement. Not everything went as planned, ideas had to be changed but I worked with it and fixed my issues. I also worked on this project during the school year where I am very busy with school, activities, and clubs but found the time to get the project done. These life skills will be needed and used in my future in various ways, I am thankful for this project that taught me those skills now.

Question 4: What other rewarding community service activities have you been involved with during your high school career?
Answer:  During high school I have been involved in many different clubs that focus on community service. I have been in the Marine Conservation Club for four years now, we do monthly beach cleanups and school beautification projects. I have also been in my school’s chapter of National Honor Society for two years where I have completed many service activities including a food drive, teacher helper, and making care-packages for nursing home residents. My involvement with the Youth Environmental Action Committee has also involved community service through cleanups and outreach events.

Question 5: In addition to your dedication to community service, what are your other favorite extracurricular activities?
Answer: My favorite extracurricular activities involve mainly band and baton twirling. I am in my school’s Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Marching Band, and Indoor Percussion group. I have been a baton twirler for about eight years, four years I twirled as a majorette for our marching band at football games.

Question 6: As a high school student, what awards and honors have you received and which of your accomplishments are you the proudest of?
Answer:   During high school I have been in numerous honors, advanced placement, and dual enrollment courses. I also earned my Girl Scout Gold Award and Social Emotional Learning Student Champion in Manatee County. I am most proud of my Gold Award as I worked on it for a long time and planned to obtain it at a young age.

Question 7: Maya, what are your immediate plans after you graduate from LWR High School?
Answer:   I have been admitted into the University of Florida and plan to attend in the fall to hopefully study Landscape Architecture with a minor in Zoology.