Something about volunteering just makes Science Hill senior Om Patel feel good. So much so, he’s racked up over 583 hours during his time at The Hill.
Recently, Patel was honored with the Ambassador Award from the United Nations Association of the United States of America for completing over 220 hours of service to others with a special dedication to delivering impact toward UN Global Goal 4: Quality Education.
Patel said he was surprised by the award because it wasn’t something he was pursuing. He is, however, appreciative of being recognized, and encouraged others to get involved in his community.
“The little things you do have such a big impact,” Patel said. “There are so many different ways to volunteer. My volunteering is mainly in hunger prevention, so I do food drives and stuff. But there are tons of different ways that people can help, like picking up trash on the trail. You may not get hours towards it, but it helps toward the bigger cause.”
Patel earned his hours in a variety of ways, by helping out at the James H. QuillenVA Medical Center, helping at Coalition 4 Kids and One Acre Café. Patel also planned and constructed a little free pantry in downtown Johnson City.
The little food pantry in downtown Johnson City took about 40 to 50 hours of his time to complete, but he said the impact it has had was well worth the time.
“The number of people that it has benefited makes me feel like my impact is expediential,” Patel said. “So I think everyone should volunteer.”
During Patel’s free time, he plays tennis for Science Hill. He also remains involved in Boy Scouts, after earning his Eagle Scout during his sophomore year. Patel also participates in Beta Club and the Student Government Association.