Jenell Theobald - Silver Award

School: Whitford Middle School
Category: Teens (11-15)
Hours: 79

Jenell Theobald is an eighth grade Summa student at Whitford Middle School. Her passion is helping people with disabilities, which is why she started her own non-profit organization, Let’s Peer Up, LPU. LPU’s mission is to advocate for government representation for people with disabilities. One fifth of Americans have some sort of disability, yet most cities don’t even have a board or commission to serve these people. When Jenell found out about this, she lead LPU giving speeches at Beaverton City Council meetings, asking the City Council to reinstate the Disabilities Advisory Board, which was disbanded many years ago. After seven weeks of advocacy, the mayor responded that they will have a working board by 2022 with recruiting starts in 2021, the same time as the other boards and commissions. Currently they are working with the City of Beaverton on refining the details of this project. This will impact approximately 20,000 people in Beaverton.

Jenell has won several awards, including a feature in the 2020 Amazing Kids magazine.

Besides her work on LPU, Jenell has also done many volunteer projects for the Oregon Elks and Oregon Chinese Coalition, including fundraising for Camp Meadowood Springs, helping Vincent Chan memorial service, hanging lanterns in Chinatown, attending city board meetings and writing summaries for the community as a Youth Ambassador. Jenell volunteer earnestly, and influence many people around her.

Oregon Chinese Coalition is proud to join the President of the United States in recognizing the volunteers who consistently take the time to make a difference in the lives of others. Therefore, it is a great honor to present the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) to Jenell Theobald.