Bridget Kelly, Brenden Hoogesteger, and Katie Holmes were awarded the Christian Service Award this year.
The Catholic Community Foundation established the Christian Service Award in 1998. Each year the foundation awards 32 scholarships to eighth grade students from elementary schools around the valley in recognition of their extraordinary volunteer service to parish, school, and community. These $8,000 scholarships will assist students in attending a Catholic high school in the Diocese of Phoenix.
Q. How did you feel when you earned the Christian Service Award?
Katie: When I found out that I received the Christian Service Award, I felt so honored and grateful! I was speechless and was just so happy and thankful for what the Catholic Community Foundation has done for me.
Bridget: When I won the Christian Service Award, I was shocked, happy, and very glad that all my hard work was recognized.
Brenden: I was very excited and felt very blessed I earned this award. I felt honored that I received such a great award.
Q. Tell us some ways that you like to volunteer.
Katie: My favorite volunteer work is anything that has to do with helping children, whether it is tutoring or reading with kids at St. Vincent de Paul or playing with them at their birthday parties at UMOM. I just enjoy helping others, and I am glad to put my time and my efforts into all community service!
Bridget: My favorite type of volunteer work is working hands on with people, especially kids. I like to volunteer at places like the St. Vincent de Paul Dream Center and the Welcome to America Project.
Brenden: I like to volunteer at Feed My Starving Children which is an organization that puts together food packages and sends them to third world countries. I alter serve, and like to do work with special olympics and raise money for them.
Q. What do you like most about your school, St Thomas the Apostle?
Katie: I love the sense of community at my school, St. Thomas the Apostle. Everyone is so nice and caring towards each other, which brings us closer as a community.
Bridget: I like the overall sense of unity in the community. It is a very welcoming place, with great teachers, classes, and students.
Brenden: It is a great Catholic community that is filled with great teachers and students that are always there to help you out.
Q. Any plans for the future?
Katie: All throughout high school I hope to continue helping others by volunteering my time towards our community.
Bridget: I recently started applying to high school. Wherever I go to school, I want to play tennis, join school clubs and continue to volunteer.
Brenden: Yes. I want to keep helping those in need in any way possible. I also hope to attend Brophy or Seton next year and continue to alter serve at Corpus Christi Church in Ahwatukee.
“These three students exemplify service. They have demonstrated greatness in the hours dedicated to serving others in their community, school, and parish. They are most deserving of this award. I look forward to seeing them continue to be leaders in our community.” -Mary Coffman, Saint Thomas the Apostle
Bridget, Brenden and Katie are eight graders at St. Thomas the Apostle.