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Ryan Laughlin Receives President's Volunteer Service Award
Posted 03/16/2018 10:44AM

Principal, Maryann O'Neill, recently congratulated senior, Ryan Laughlin, on being a recipient of the President's Volunteer Service Award.

The President's Council on Service and Civic Participation launched the President's Volunteer Service Award in 2003 to recognize the importance of volunteers to America's strength and national identity, and furthermore, to honor the deeply invested volunteers whose service is multiplied through the inspiration they give others. The award recognizes, celebrates and holds up as role models Americans making a positive impact as engaged and deeply committed volunteers.

"Just last year we congratulated Ryan when he received Naperville's Youth Service Award," said Principal O'Neill. "He was among only twenty-two who received that award." Laughlin was chosen by Chris Traub, Youth Ministry Director of St. Raphael Catholic Church to receive the honor.

Ryan has performed over 200 hours of service during his time as a Montini Bronco. He has been an active member of Montini's Lasallian Youth Club and has volunteered at Feed My Starving Children as well as many other service projects the club engages in each year. He is also a retreat leader at his parish, St. Raphael Catholic Church, in Naperville, and still finds time to tutor at his local library.

"Being a retreat leader in my parish has impacted me the most - making a difference in the lives of other people is a fulfilling experience," said Laughlin. "Leading retreats has become an experience that I look forward to," he said. "I know that I will always keep coming back to my church to do it. Helping other people deepen their faith and volunteering in this environment is what I feel like I have been called to do."

Another community service project Laughlin is proud to have been a part of was a mission trip to Green Bay, Wisconsin where he helped disadvantaged families in decrepit homes. "I repaired walls, painted, fixed cracks, and did the best I could to help these people who were struggling financially. This mission trip was a week long and the work was very rigorous. Overall, this experience opened my eyes to see the importance of giving back."

Laughlin is very happy to be a part of the Montini's community and is happy that the school provides many opportunities to serve and to continue his relationship with God. "Volunteering has allowed me to open up my heart to the Lord," he said.

In addition to Montini's Lasallian Youth Club, he is also a member of the Pro-Life Club, God Squad, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Sancti Futuri, a group that prides itself on being open to "anyone who wants to be a saint!" In addition, he belongs to the Spanish and English Clubs, is an active participant in Montini's Student Government and represents the school as a Student Ambassador. Laughlin also finds time for sports and is a member of the Bronco Cross Country and Track teams. "Getting involved in the service projects in this tight-knit school community shows who the students at Montini are, and what we stand for."

"One of our nation's greatest strengths remains the compassion of our everyday citizens, who give so willingly of themselves and their lives for the benefit of others," said President Donald Trump in his letter congratulating Ryan. "Each generation of hardworking and kindhearted volunteers helps to write a new chapter of American greatness, and our nation is proud for your commitment to this honorable tradition."

"I am inspired to volunteer because the feeling that comes with 'giving back' after volunteering, is the most rewarding experience," said Ryan. "My parents (Dan and Dina Laughlin) have inspired me the most. Their generosity and faith keeps me motivated."
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