Eleanor Song - Gold Award
School: Sunset High School
Category: Teens (11-15)
A third-time recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award and a current sophomore at Sunset High School, Eleanor Song has participated in a variety of activities this past year in an effort to give back.
Throughout the winter, Eleanor monitored and streamlined Zoom meetings for a local nonprofit organization. She later volunteered at their summer camp, which was an incredible experience of caring for students, culture education, and making connections.
Weekly, Eleanor meets with a Ukrainian student online. These sessions, which started in late January, originally were only for English tutoring but eventually became a learning experience for both people when the war began. This connection has become both an eye-opening opportunity and an invaluable friendship. With the same organization, Eleanor also co-hosted a digital event in June featuring a different Ukrainian student. That student provided valuable insight about life during war and answered questions from the audience; the event also included education about war laws/crimes and an explanation of ways to help Ukraine. (help-ukraine.carrd.co - contribute if you can!)
Eleanor has volunteered with organizations like the Oregon Chinese Coalition, participating in warehouse cleanups and task force meetings. She also assisted with their stand at the Beaverton Night Market, spreading culture awareness and helping Oregonians learn to write with 毛笔(a traditional Chinese brush).
Believing that volunteering should come from a place of passion, Eleanor worked with middle school students to provide feedback for select Speech and Debate events. At the end of the school year, she was a judge for the tournament hosted by Sunset Speech and Debate. Eleanor has loved the activity since starting it in freshman year, during which she placed at the OSAA State tournament and attended the NSDA National tournament.
Furthermore, Eleanor has volunteered with the Cedar Mill and Bethany Community Libraries Association, participating in projects mainly over the summer. She was in charge of a station at the 2022 Summer Reading Festival, helping the community familiarize themselves with library services and working with peers.
The past year has been a tumultuous period of change and adjustment as the pandemic and the war continue to fade from the public eye. Eleanor hopes to do more in the future to keep these issues spotlighted and give back to her 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 Eleanor Song.