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!
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.