Riverside Local Schools
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President's Volunteer Service Award

Sara Apanavicius just can't sit still.

Despite going to school during the daytime and being a member of the Riverside Volleyball team at night time, Sara still finds time to volunteer all over Northeast Ohio. A lot of time. 

Sara has recently received the President's Volunteer Service Award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country. 

The award was granted on behalf of President Barack Obama, who also sent Sara a letter and a certificate. 

Sara started doing community service her freshman year when she was applying for the National Honors Society, however by the time she applied, she only had two weeks left to complete 40 hours of community service. 

"That's how I got started. It was either get all the hours done in two weeks, or wait until next year to get into National Honors Society," Sara said. 

Since then, she hasn't looked back and has volunteered more than 150 hours across Northeast Ohio. 

Some of her service includes peer tutoring, coaching children, volunteering at Lake Metroparks, Lithuanian Youth Heritage Camp, LaMuth 6th Grade Camp, sports camps and at Special Needs events. 

Sara is now the Vice President of the National Honors Society and on February 3, she committed to playing volleyball at the University of Rochester. So how does she find all the time to volunteer?

"It is hard to find the time, but I just hate sitting around," she said. "I have a job too at a Pizza place and I coach but If I find myself just sitting at home, I have to do something. I can't just sit around and do nothing."

Not only does she plan on continuing to play volleyball in college, she also can't wait to join some volunteer clubs. Since applying for the National Honors Society nearly four years ago, she has come to love the idea of helping others. 

"When I first started coaching and tutoring this little girl a few years ago, she used to always say to me 'I can't wait to be just like you. You're my role model.'" Sara said. "It's things like that that keep me going. I just want to make others happy."

As for being recognized by President Obama...

"It's great to be recognized. It's awesome." She said. "A lot of hard work has paid off. Even if it's not a major thing, all the small things you do to help someone out counts."