Maggie Bao - Gold Award

School: Sunset High School
Category: Teens (11-15)
Hours: 135

In Maggie’s second year of receiving the gold medal of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, she continued to volunteer at Zoolights in the winter of 2019, an annual light show that occurs during the holiday season at the Oregon Zoo. Her favorite position was to dress up as an animal costume character and bring fun to the visitors. Additionally, she has been volunteering monthly at the local church for the past five years on the Portland Transition Projects to cook and serve dinner for 90 homeless veterans. She realized the little actions, like providing home-cooked meals to the homeless, lifted up spirits and largely impacted their outlook for the day. Over quarantine, Maggie started baking at home, and co-founded a club that cooks, delivers, and serves food to the Transition House as well as a local Women and Children’s shelter. She hopes to extend their locations to other shelters as well. During the summer, Maggie took a content writer position at Techie Youth, a nonprofit charity based in Brooklyn, New York, whose mission statement is to help foster kids and disadvantaged youth to become self-sufficient IT professionals. She researched and curated many units regarding how to create and market various digital goods. Although she is not able to volunteer at the zoo because of the pandemic, she began to foster more cats at home. In 2020, she helped 9 cats from the local animal shelter find their forever home. Finally, she teaches weekly Zoom classes to help fourth to sixth graders prepare for the Math Olympiad competition. Although the COVID-19 pandemic may have changed the ways in which one could volunteer, Maggie emphasizes that there are still many other volunteer opportunities in the community.

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 Maggie Bao.