We hope you are inspired by these stories of our past Teen Servant Leadership Award winners.
Rebekah Hitchcock (17), Virginia
National Leaders Conference Honoree
Rebekah, a 17-year-old from Chesapeake, Virginia, has a passion for the most vulnerable in our world-the unborn. Her project centered around supporting the National Right to Life Council by fundraising over $40,000 over the past 7 years. Her main fundraising avenue was the Walk for Life, put on by the Crisis Pregnancy Center of Tidewater. Additionally, Rebekah volunteers with her local crisis pregnancy center by babysitting children of mothers who come there for parenting classes. Many of these moms felt empowered to choose life for these children in part because of the mentoring and support offered to them during their crisis pregnancy.
Last year, Rebekah raised over $10,000 and has a goal of $20,000 for this year! She not only canvassed family, friends, and churches for donations, she also worked with government officials and politicians to maximize donations. She is now a full-time college student in Tennessee, away from home in Virginia, but is working on getting plugged into the pro-life community in her new college town. Her desire is to continue making a tangible difference for the unborn.
Because of her work, Rebekah was invited to speak at the Tidewater Crisis Pregnancy Center’s Presidents Dinner. She has also used her passion as a platform at national speech and debate competitions. She encourages people to realize how important it is to not only donate to pro-life organizations, but to join her in volunteering to support moms facing unplanned pregnancies who are vulnerable to the seemingly quick-fix solution of abortion.
In her own words:
Shiv Meiyur (14), Massachusetts
Shiv, a 14-year-old from Billerica, Massachusetts, had an idea to rescue food that would otherwise be trash, and to deliver it to those in need. Realizing how much food is wasted by grocery stores, restaurants, and bakeries, Shiv figured out how to source food to provide meals to people in homeless shelters, transitional homes, and soup kitchens. When COVID hit, Shiv had time on his hands and decided to use it to create flyers and reach out to local grocery stores and others with available unused food, and work out a way to deliver this food to those most needing it. In 2021, he created the non-profit Your Share, designed to address these issues and provide a solution.
Because of Shiv’s hard work, many needy and homeless people are served fresh-cooked meals two to three times a week. He was instrumental in recruiting volunteers, reaching out to places with food wastage, and identifying organizations who could use the food to feed the hungry. Shiv’s vision, commitment, persistence, and tirelessness makes his service remarkable.
In his own words:
“I am tackling the issue of food wastage and world hunger at the same time. I’ve read a lot into this issue and have thoughts of ways to combat this issue because it doesn’t seem fair the homeless and the hungry. With the amount of usable food that is thrown out by countries, we have a lot of work to do to ensure the maximum utilization of our resources.”
Amelia Thomas (15), Louisiana
15-year-old Amelia lives in Kinder, Louisiana and has a passion for encouraging our law enforcement community. Over the past few years, Amelia noticed that the morale of many police officers was sinking. Strong relationships of mutual trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve are critical to effective policing to maintain public safety. Amelia decided she could make a difference. Her project involved passing out prayer cards, praying with officers directly, and speaking to any and every officer she could find.
She was invited by multiple precincts to speak to officers and give morale-building speeches. Her goal was to spread God’s love and encourage the officers who provide us with much safety and security. Amelia has spoken in precincts in 7 states and explains that in Christ good things happen, and that the officers are appreciated by many people.
Amelia spends her free time volunteering in other ways as well, like visiting War Veterans homes to say thank you and record their stories. She makes sure everyone at the local nursing home gets a Christmas Card and also educates people about disabilities you can’t see like her Autism and her sisters Ehlers Danlos syndrome.
In her own words:
“I have been personally impacted by this project on an emotional level. I see the news and the hate of law enforcement in so many communities, big and small, and it breaks my heart. The best feeling is when you connect with an officer and realize that God led you to this person and you are giving [them] what they need at that time. I want all officers to know that they are appreciated, that we see the things they have to do, and we understand that the decisions they have to make are hard, but they are there to protect us.”
Jacob Shaper, 16, Alton, Illinois
A love of books sparked a fire with this student. During COVID, Jacob noticed the lack of resources available to kids in his area due to closures of schools and libraries. With parents working and children stuck at home, he knew they needed more than video games. Jacob used auto-cad software to design and build a Little Library, a free-standing library box with available books for his town. He has now completed 3 Little Library projects, and kids in his town continue to benefit.
Reagan Sears, 17, Cheyenne, Wyoming
Reagan loved dance from her earliest years as a student, but found the direction and style of the traditional dance studio objectionable in many ways. So, Reagan decided to start classes in her home to not only teach dance, but to encourage young girls to seek goodness, growth and learning in the ways of the Lord. She planned devotionals along with dance lessons as a way to teach the girls how to dance for Jesus. Reagan’s dedication and passion taught the art of ballet and worship through dance.
Tucker Smith (17), Pennsylvania
Tucker wanted to find a way to help his community. Motivated by the call of the Great Commission, he used his own money to buy and raise chickens, planted and harvested vegetables, and made his own maple syrup. He delivered this food on his bicycle and ran a free fresh produce stand along the roadside. With a special heart for the elderly, he continues to share Christ and give what he can to the needy people in his small town.
Addison Mouser (18), Texas
Addison was born with multiple disabilities. Having struggled with isolation and homelessness, she recognized during the pandemic that children were lonely, especially hospital-bound children. She wrote a book helping children know they are not alone and how they can cope, which has now been read in several hospitals. She shares her difficult life story across several media platforms, is an ambassador for “Brown Girls Do Ballet” and is working towards her Congressional Service Award.
Amarah Raullerson (18), Colorado
Amarah suffered brain damage when born to drug addicted parents, and now serves as an advocate for children like herself. Having created a non profit, “Hope For Kids Like Me”, she has also written articles, interviewed addicts in jail, and speaks publicly about the impact of addiction on children. She has inspired community leaders to start a treatment center for addicts and their children to work on reintegration and family stability.
Angelica Krubeck (13), Georgia
Combining her love of science with a desire to make a difference, Angelica founded a nonprofit at nine years old called Super Science Kids. Her mission? To bring “science fun” to at risk youth, providing them with the opportunity to build, explore, investigate, and discover. Creating her own home-made science kits, she held workshops and camps in her own community to inspire a love of learning, to build confidence, and to challenge kids to find their own untapped potential.
Lauren Parker (15), Illinois
Lauren has a heart for to connecting caring, Christian families with at-risk children in short term scenario’s, or in lifetime commitments like adoption. Starting a chapter of Safe Families for Children in her local church, Lauren has led trainings for new host families, created a supply closet to assist with children’s physical needs, initiated a bible study offering encouragement and support, and mobilized the youth in her church to provide free babysitting services for the host families.
Lauren Seachris (14), Kansas
In 2016, Lauren met a woman with a 5-year plan to build 1000 Nicaraguan homes for homeless mothers and children. With a tender heart for the needy, Lauren felt a burden to fund five of those homes. Drawing inspiration from her love of dogs, she developed “Lauren’s Treat”, a business offering homemade dog biscuits and pet supplies. Lauren met her goal in just under 2 years—and kept going! She continues to make and sell her products to invest in world missions.
Sydney O'Leary (19), Tennessee
Sydney founded Feeding the Orphans (West Africa) and its subsidiary ministry, Camp Zion (Knoxville, TN), with her family. Sydney is the public face of FTO, speaking at various engagements to spread the word about FTO, and assisting with basic
needs of rural villages like providing clean drinking water, care for orphans, work-training for single mothers, and an outreach to children living at the garbage dump. She also serves as director and camp counselor for Camp Zion, working
with about 1,000 at-risk children from the Knoxville area.
Christopher Kraemer (19), Minnesota
Christopher spent over 200 hours coordinating, facilitating and leading 16-week orientation classes for local churches in St Cloud to help them welcome refugees into their community. This project was entirely self-initiated on Christopher’s part after he took a class in nearby Willmar and saw the impact it made on the community’s attitude toward refugees. Instead of helping just one refugee family, he has now equipped many individuals to be the hands and feet of Jesus in St Cloud (which has a large refugee population).
Nastassia Naskov (19), Macedonia
Nastassia has worked countless hours with Lighthouse of Hope, providing loving care and basic needs to very young children with special needs and attachment disorders in a state orphanage in Macedonia. Her patient, consistent work is giving these neglected children a chance to experience healing and become whole, functioning persons who can form relationships later in life, despite their difficult beginnings.