Killeen volunteers honored with prestigious Presidential Volunteer Service Award

Award includes letter by President Joe Biden
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 7:06 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Nearly three dozen Killeen ISD students were recognized for their volunteer service in the community by receiving the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, which included a signed letter by President Joe Biden.

The 33 students from elementary, middle and high schools in Killeen ISD were surprised with the prestigious awards by a prize patrol from Killeen Volunteers, Incorporated, a nonprofit which promotes volunteerism in Killeen.

Riakos Adams is the president of the group and spoke to each classroom as he presented the awards. Adams said the purpose of the surprise patrol was not only to celebrate the winners, but inspire other students to follow in their footsteps.

“We’re taking the time now to recognize them in the hopes that that it energizes other students now so we can recognize them next year,” Adams said. “And I think we know their ability to influence stuff through their charitable efforts, and if we can get more into that, I think that will make our community better.”

The volunteer work was down everywhere from schools and churches to animal shelters and homeless centers.

The largest group of winners included Chaparral High School freshmen who earned hours last year as students at Patterson Middle School.

Student Armie Melton amassed 232 service hours there last year and said it’s important to give back to a community that’s invested in her.

“The community, especially Killeen, gives so much. We need to give back,” Melton said. “It feels nice to be recognized.”

In addition to putting in time at school for cleanup and workdays, she is also a volunteer in community theater and church.

Gold winner John Dylan Dickerson gave the most time of any KISD student with 324 hours. He completed projects through the National Junior Honor Society by collecting food, cleaning up a park and working on school cleanup projects.

Dickerson said working together as a group was fun.

“It’s a fun community,” Dickerson said. “I enjoy spending time with people helping. I also like to see the progress we make.”

Nolan Middle school sixth-grader Ryker Sparlin, who attended Skipcha when he earned his hours, said the recognition meant a lot.

“It means a lot to me,” Sparlin said. “I can still improve and get better and help more people. It helps the community and makes the world a better place.”

The President’s Volunteer Service Awards recognize both youth and adults who play an important tole in volunteerism across the country.

It was started by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation in 2003.