Thomas Jefferson

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Spartan Gives Back

Posted 03/22/2018 by Kathryn Schroeck

Armijo accepts her award at the Colorado State Capital. photo by Danny Showers

Senior Mikayla Armijo received the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

At Thomas Jefferson High School, community service is valued; there is even a 40 hour community service graduation requirement to help emphasize the importance of service. Some students have gone above and beyond the expectations, including senior Mikayla Armijo, who was recently honored for her exemplary volunteer service with the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

This award recognizes people of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities. The award was granted by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). “Demonstrating civic responsibility through volunteerism is an important part of life,” illustrated NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti. “These honorees practice a lesson we hope all young people, as well as adults, will emulate.”

Armijo has been involved in volunteer activity with the Denver Botanic Gardens since 2014 and has accumulated over 310 hours of service. She has helped the Gardens by creating projects such as the Gardens Teen Leaders. The Teen Leaders create yearly projects such as activities for visitors that include scavenger hunts and social media tasks, and Armijo serves as the group’s secretary. She even created a project in 2016 that allowed TJ photojournalism students to compete in a teen photo contest. Armijo has also volunteered at summer concerts as a junior counselor, and in many other events at the Gardens, all while managing a 3.5 cumulative GPA and an after school job.

Armijo was nominated for the President’s Volunteer Service Award upon application for the Prudential Scholarship. NASSP noticed the large amount of volunteer hours she had and sent her information to judges for the award. “It was an honor to receive this award. Volunteering has always been a big part of my life and being recognized was amazing,” she described.  Armijo accepted her award in the old Supreme Court chambers at the Colorado State Capitol on March 5th. The ceremony began with TJ’s Colorguard and the award was presented by Principal Mike Christoff and Senator Angela Williams. “It was amazing being able to spend time with students in a different setting than school, and to do something fun to recognize a great achievement,” Christoff explained. Following the ceremony, Amijo and her family attended lunch at the Brown Palace Hotel’s Palace Arms restaurant, courtesy of CTE Partnership Coordinator Danny Showers.

Every Spartan is encouraged to volunteer with as much dedication as Armijo. “Giving back helps make the community a better place, which makes your democracy a better place,” Christoff explained. Thanks to Armijo for her hard work and dedication towards community service.