Feven Tadele, 12, of Washington, D.C., a seventh-grader at St. Augustine Catholic School, is a dedicated volunteer who gives back to her community and beyond in many ways, including packing food for people in need, teaching Sunday school at her church, and traveling to Ethiopia to aid people living in poverty and teach English. Feven said her older sister is her primary inspiration for serving others. “Ever since I was little I have looked up to my sister because I always saw her helping others in some way,” said Feven. She soon discovered that volunteering was its own reward. “It gives me a happy feeling inside,” she said.
When she was about 7 years old, Feven started following in her sister’s footsteps by selling chocolates at her church to raise money for her school. Then she offered to help struggling students with their homework, and assisted teachers in sprucing up their classrooms. Gradually, she increased her commitment to helping others and began teaching the Bible to children at her church, distributing holiday cards at a senior citizens home, and packing food to give to the poor in her community. Last summer, Feven, her sister and a friend traveled to Ethiopia to feed people in need and teach English to children there. “Teaching children who are eager to learn always gives me an overflow of joy,” said Feven. “Every time I teach a student, I believe that I am helping prepare that child for the real world and helping them to become great citizens and a great asset to their community.”