In 1989, YWCA Clark County created an awards program to recognize young women for their volunteer community service and leadership. Since then, we have honored close to 230 students from Clark County high schools for their efforts to build a stronger, healthier and more vibrant community. This year, we are proud to recognize three more amazing women as Young Women of Achievement.
The process for receiving a Young Woman of Achievement scholarship is competitive. Applicants must demonstrate outstanding achievement in volunteer and school leadership roles, community involvement, commitment to YWCA’s mission, and must serve as a role model for their peers. Applications are reviewed by a selection committee, who this year selected six young women to be interviewed. Interviewees answer questions about their leadership, community service and future academic plans. From this, three young women are awarded the Young Women of Achievement designation.
Sarah Case from Columbia River High School received the YWCA Scholarship Award. Sarah served the community through the National Honor Society, Key Club, Oregon Food Bank and more. In 2012 she embarked on a service trip to Costa Rica. This journey inspired Sarah to pursue even more opportunities to support the local community and to broaden her international service. Since that time, she has served as LINK crew member, volunteered for the Clark County Food Bank and joined the Interact Club, a service club dedicated to eradicating polio. Sarah is looking forward to traveling to Haiti this Spring for another service trip.
Kate Orsi from Skyview High School received the Donna Roberge Scholarship Award. Kate is active in her school and community, serving as president of the National Red Cross Club, secretary of the National Honor Society and secretary of the Women in Action Club. Kate also volunteers on a Teen-to-Teen peer support line each week. Kate realized that many of her peers were feeling trapped and overwhelmed, and they were unaware of the resources available to them. Inspired by this observation, she petitioned to have the teen support line information included on student identification cards, and was able to bring students in touch with resources available to them. Kate is continually inspired by positively influencing her community and her peers.
Karishma Patel from Mountain View High School received the Soroptimist International of Vancouver Scholarship Award. Karishma serves as an officer with her school’s chapter of the National Honor Society. She also volunteers at the Southwest Washington Medical Center’s Cardiovascular Observatory and works as an intern for SEH, a silicon manufacturing company. Karishma is an accomplished Musician, athlete, and dancer, and she serves as a choreographer for Bollywood dances at the Gujarti Samaj community center. Through the National Honor Society, Karishma conceived and executed an AP study materials book drive, opening up the joys and benefits of AP studies to all students, regardless of economic standing. Karishma hopes to attend medical school and continue empowering women and making a difference in her community.
Congratulations to these three impressive young women. Their outstanding academic achievement and commitment to the community through volunteerism and leadership demonstrate passion and dedication in alignment with YWCA’s mission. With strong leaders like Sarah, Kate and Karishma, our local and international communities are well supported in the elimination of racism, empowerment of women, and promotion of peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.