Our most recent Community Service Award Youth Humanitarian Finalist is a perfect example.
Our first finalist for the 2010 Youth Humanitarian Award wants to be a career diplomat, and he's well on his way. He's Little Rock Catholic High Senior Matt Eckess.
We joined big brother Matt Eckess on a recent morning as he arrived for a session with some little brothers.
"You go out to a boys' and girls' club, you hang out with them, play ball, help with homework, help them become more social, help them get out of their shells, and I think it helps them grow," says Matt.
"It's once a week, you can come more if you want, but you have to meet a weekly obligation, and you get a little brother," says Kenneth May with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. "His little brother is Paden, and basically he's here for Paden. If Paden needs help with his homework he helps him with his homework, plays sports with Paden."
Sometimes they do what Matt wants to do and sometimes they do what Paden wants to do.
Matt's concern for kids with special needs also surfaces at Camp Aldersgate, where he is on the Volunteer Youth Council.
In 2000, when I was eight years old and I came to asthma camp here at camp, I had such a wonderful time that I have to give back and share that experience that I had with everybody else that comes out here," Matt recalls.
We have campers with different medical conditions, ranging from muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, cancer, asthma, diabetes, and he helps take care of the kids and get them ready in the morning, takes them to activities, makes sure that all of their needs are taken care of," says Tess Hardin, Camp Aldersgate Volunteer Coordinator.
Matt is an Eagle Scout, Co-Editor of the award-winning Catholic High Yearbook, oboist in the Arkansas Youth Symphony, and former Red Cross Youth Council member.
And his fluency in Spanish landed him an internship at the Little Rock Mexican Consulate.