Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy senior Vantaseia Joe is working to leave her mark on the world one volunteer hour at a time. The academic scholar was recently awarded the Cook County Sheriff’s Youth Service Medal of Honor as recognition for volunteering more than 100 hours of community service.
“The Sherriff awards students like Vantaseia medals of honor to recognize them for all of the good things that they do,” said the Director of the Cook County Sherriff’s Youth Services Department, Joanne Bishkek. “It is important for us to recognize students who are involved in community service. This is the 23rd year we’ve given this award. We want to recognize young people for all of the positive things they do. When young people are involved in positive activities it keeps them on the right track. The more we can recognize them for those positive behaviors the more they are likely to remain involved.”
Over the past year, Joe has worked with various organizations including UNICEF—an organization that works to help others overcome obstacles of poverty, violence, disease and discrimination. She has worked with Toys for Tots for Loyola Medical Center and with ASPIRE—an organization that serves individuals with disabilities. Joe has also worked to raise awareness about iron deficiencies. She is President of Loyola’s drug prevention program, Youth Encouraging Success (Y.E.S.), and she is President of PMSA’s Key Club.
Though she has worked hard to give back to those in need while maintaining a stellar grade point average, Joe says she did not really expect to be rewarded for all of her good work. The humble PMSA senior says she is just glad that her work helps other people in need.
“I’ve been volunteering since the 8th grade,” she said. “Through the Key Club I’ve learned how to get more involved, and I’ve been able to participate in more activities. I feel happy that my service actually matters. It just makes me feel good that I am doing something for someone else to help improve their lives.”
Joe is a scholar, a community advocate, and a student leader who serves as a constant reminder that character counts.
Congratulations Vantaseia Joe! Keep up the excellent work.