In an increasingly modern world full of iPods, Facebook and blogs, it grows more impressive each day that a young person chooses to ignore these digital distractions and take time to give back to their community.

Laura Elliott Gregorio, a 17-year-old senior at Louise S. McGehee, has a full agenda with her McGehee activities alone – she’s president of the Beta Club, a community service honor society, and plays varsity volleyball and softball. But even with her hectic schedule, Laura has raised funds and built homes with Habitat for Humanity; planted trees with Hike for KaTREEna; and helped build a KaBoom playground with NBA Cares. She says her most rewarding experience was with ISAS sponsored Habitat for Humanity houses.

“I think that Habitat for Humanity is one of the most gratifying organizations,” she says, because “through just the fundraising efforts and hard work of people like me, a family is able to have their own home. I love that after three or four hours of work on the house, you can already see progress made on a home.”

“I think that it’s important to be involved in your community because there are a lot of areas in need in a community that can be fixed by volunteers. McGehee has taught me that through volunteering, I can give something back to my community.”
Of personal rewards from her efforts, Gregorio says she’s gained a greater perspective on her place in the community, “I realize that my time can be spent in many useful ways and in a short amount of time, I can make a difference to a
lot of people.”

She continues, “After many hours of community service, I know that volunteering cannot end at high school. Communities will always be in need and I will always have time to volunteer.” Perhaps we could all take a lesson from this outstanding young lady!