Student recognized for volunteer efforts

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Hannah Peterson holds her Presidential commendation.

Hannah Peterson, a sophomore at Greencastle-Antrim High School, received a letter of commendation from President Barack Obama. She was recognized for exemplary volunteer service with a President's Volunteer Service Award.

Hannah, 15, has offered her time at Camp Joy El for the past three summers. She devoted at least two weeks in the kitchen, and as a junior counselor through the 4.12 Leadership Training Program.

The award recognizes Americans of all ages who give significant amounts of time. It was presented by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of the President. More than 370,000 young people have been considered for the award since the program began in 1995.

Applications were distributed last September through public and private high schools, and many charitable organizations. The program is co-sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and Prudential Financial.

A helper

Hannah, the daughter of Mary and Joel Peterson, helped the administration of Camp Joy El in many capacities.

"It's pretty rough," she said of the kitchen work. "We're basically the maintenance. We do everything."

That could include serving, setting up tables, cleaning after meals, cooking if needed, and tidying the dining hall. She was available from 6 a.m. to midnight.

As a counselor, Hannah was in a cabin or supervising campers 24-hours a day. She enjoyed the duties at the Christian-based center.

"I got closer to God. We have devotions. And we work so hard you can't get through a week without relying on Him."

She plans to return this summer.

At G-AHS, Hannah participates in band, choir, Chamber Choir, Tri-M Honor Society and Drama Club.