Sophia Goldberg, staff writer
By using her many forms of community service involvement, senior Judy Kim was selected as a local honoree for the Prudential Spirit of Community Award. Kim will move on to the next steps and the ability to get to Washington D.C. to hear from famous speakers by passing through the state and national levels.
Kim meets the qualifications for this award, as she has started a non-profit organization called HeartShare Club and has already received the Gold Level for the Presidential Volunteer Service Award with a required minimum of 250 hours of service in the Young Adults category (ages 16-25).
Principal David Jackson, who nominated Kim for the award, believes that she has all of the qualities to make her a successful candidate for the Prudential award.
“Judy Kim is one of our top students and has all the attributes that the Prudential Spirit Award is looking for in a student,” Jackson said.
Kim began her large-scale community service projects as a volunteer at the Joy Center for the Disabled, where she socialized with patients through various activities, such as art and physical activity.
“When I began to work with the Joy Center for the Disabled, I had no idea that the experience would lead me to change my idea of responsibility to my community. Every Saturday, I encouraged disabled participants to socialize through art, sports and hiking,” Kim said.
Kim believes the program gave her an important outlook into the community and showed her ways she can get involved and how it benefits those around her.
“Joining the Center was rewarding because I could see the positive impact making new relationships had on my new friends,” Kim said. “Unfortunately, towards the end of my freshman year, I was informed that the Los Angeles campus would close due to funding issues.”
Even though the LA center was closed, Kim believed in the program and found a way to bring the main purpose of the center back to the community in the form of her own club.
“I started a non-profit organization to recreate what our community had lost. I still remember the very first fundraiser: we sold our own art in an auction, raising over $1,000. I had planned each step of the process, taking the initiative to organize our auction, and the success was very rewarding,” Kim said.
Kim turned her small organization into a rapidly growing community-wide program with 30 members ranging from 8th to 12th grade. The focus of the club is to help support the community as a whole.
“As the President and Founder of HeartShare Club, I am proud of the accomplishments our club has made in the past few years. We are an independent, self-funded, non-profit organization, which has run more than 200 community art projects at centers for the disabled and for senior citizens. We have raised over $10,000 to date,” Kim said.
With this experience as a leader in her community, Kim hopes that this is only the beginning in positively changing her community.
“I hope that more students can join and learn what volunteering is truly about, for it really does have a worthwhile effect on community members, whether they are receiving or giving help,” she said.
To read more about Kim’s HeartShare Club, click here.