Highland Park Students Receive Points of Light Award for Work in Community

Oct 18, 2022

Points of Light is the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, and they’ve recently released the 2022 Inspiration Honor Roll.

This award celebrates acts of service, kindness and civic engagement by individuals who create change in communities around the world. It recognizes the people who take action, in both large and small ways, to improve the lives of others.

This year, Points of Light continued to see individuals step up like never before. More people are volunteering, using their voices, giving back through work and taking action when they see a need. We are excited to uplift these stories and show how in communities worldwide, the power of people continue to drive us forward.

Two of those students work with SaLT (Service and Learning Together), who also works with SYTA Youth Foundation. Here are the inspiring students and what they were recognized for:

Highland Park, IL

Daniella has been volunteering with the nonprofit SaLT (Service and Learning Together) for a number of years. Yet this summer made the most significant impact on how she views the power of service and community.

On the Fourth of July, a mass shooting terrorized her hometown parade. It is pure joy when she thinks back to former memories of this parade. But unfortunately, for some children at the parade this past year, the only thing they took away was trauma, anxiety and fear.

After the devastating event, the SaLT team started distributing t-shirts to the community that read, “Highland Park STRONG.” The initiative was meant to instill unity and hope throughout the city while raising money for the Highland Park Community Foundation.

What started as a project distributing t-shirts out of a living room became a local movement. “Highland Park STRONG” was displayed throughout the city. Daniella had the honor of conversing with many community members, which opened her eyes to how different types of people were impacted. Daniella’s leadership and dedication helped to raise over $55,000. While Daniella has always had a passion for service, the impact of this summer has been life-changing.


Highland Park, IL

As a shy eighth grader, Jagger attended her first service-learning trip to Orlando working with Give Kids The World in support of terminally ill children and their families fulfilling their Make-A-Wish trip. This gave Jagger a taste of who she could be and the difference she can make.

Through SaLT, a local non-profit, Shop N’ Drop was created. Shop N’ Drop is a service program providing groceries and personal items to approximately 1,265 people in 306 families who are food insecure and economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the youngest member of the team, Jagger jumped in with her full self, wanting to support the families. The team consisted of two adults and three students, and together they were able to create ways to safely support the families in need. Shop N’ Drop is not a drive-up food pantry, but rather a community support system for families through COVID-19 relief and recovery.

Since May 2020, Jagger has made contact with every family served, via phone calls or text messages. Jagger’s relationships with the families have grown so much. Two years later, Jagger is proud that she is still volunteering each week and taking on responsibilities she never thought possible.

For more information, visit https://www.pointsoflight.org/inspiration-honor-roll/2022-2/