Each year, The LeaderShop offers high school seniors who participate in its programs a chance to apply for the Catherine Menninger Scholarship. Applicants for this scholarship, which was established in honor of the agency’s founder, Catherine Menninger, have engaged in more than 100 hours of community service activities during their four years of high school. The scholarship is awarded to a recipient who exemplifies outstanding service to the community and involvement with related extracurricular activities, and who will be continuing his or her education in a post-secondary institution. The LeaderShop congratulates the 2014 winner, Crystal Ocampo, as this year’s Catherine Menninger Scholarship recipient.
Ocampo completed 240 service hours through The LeaderShop’s programs. She says that her experiences and involvement have helped her become a more confident individual.
“The LeaderShop opened multiple doors-doors that I could explore without someone telling me I cannot,” Ocampo said.
Ocampo was introduced to the LeaderShop’s programs when she moved to the community of Summit when she was in seventh grade, she saw potential to make an impact on her community.
“I had difficultly discovering who I was and what I liked," Ocampo said. "The LeaderShop helped me stabilize my faith and belief in myself. The numerous volunteer opportunities and programs helped me realize that I really, truly love volunteering and helping others."
As she began her high school years at Argo Community High School, she participated in programs to become a more confident leader and contributor. She discovered a passion for volunteering for with The LeaderShop through various programs, including Haunted Manor, Teen Leaders, High School Leadership Program, Junior High Leadership Program and providing assistance as a special event volunteer.
Ocampo points to volunteering at The Illinois Food Bank as one of her fondest memories. She says she was astounded that a group of committed volunteers made a direct impact by packing food for destitute families.
Crystal hopes to continue to serve others and to challenge herself as she moves through her college career.
“I know that volunteering will remain in my future," Ocampo said. "I plan to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity or perhaps with the Peace Corps.”
She plans to study diplomacy and international relations at Illinois Wesleyan University.
Steve Stefanik is the LeaderShop's marketing assistant