Merck Sharp & Dohme Federal Credit Union presented Raymond O. Hoffman Memorial Awards to five high school seniors at its Annual Meeting on March 22, 2022. For 51 years, the Hoffman Memorial Award recognizes high school seniors who are active in their community and represent credit unions' "People Helping People" philosophy.
Sarah Drakas - Boyertown Area Senior High, Boyertown, PA.
Sarah learned about the Leukemia Lymphoma Society (LLS) while attending a Future Leaders of America conference. Afterward, she created Team Boyertown and raised over $19,000 for the cause. Sarah won the Mission Award as the candidate that exemplifies the LLS goals. As part of the National Honor Society, Sarah organized multiple Covid-19 clinics and was selected as the Boyertown Student Representative for the School Board.
Morgan Fazio - Green Level High School, Cary, NC.
Morgan created Blessing Bags to help individuals facing homelessness. Morgan felt donating money to strangers could create emotional conflict, so she created Blessing Bags, filled with water bottles, gift cards for food, and personal care items. Morgan worked with a local hospital's emergency room to give Blessing Bags to discharged patients with limited resources. Morgan is president of her local YMCA Leaders Club and hosts service nights for packaging donations into Blessing Bags.
Nicholas Carter - Central Bucks High School East, Doylestown, PA. Nicholas' is a volunteer at the Neshaminy Manor Nursing Home, spending time with residents during game nights and special events; however, this was interrupted during the pandemic. As an alternative, he created craft kits for residents so they felt cared for during a time of isolation. Through Project Linus, Nicholas creates blankets for hospitalized children. He also volunteers with the Walk to End Alzheimer's.
Jason Wang - Germantown Academy, Fort Washington, PA.
Jason co-founded an online program called 'Camp Intellect' during the pandemic. Its mission is to provide affordable education and COVID-19 aid. Camp Intellect donated over $10,000 to charity and provided academic scholarships. In 2021, they distributed supplies to Community Partnership School in Philadelphia and the ULEC in Newark. Jason also volunteers at Abington Memorial Hospital, performing magic shows for children.
Anushka Gattu - Central Bucks High School South, Warrington, PA.
Through community service efforts such as Prajwala, Anushka's raised $3,000 to help young victims of trafficking living in shelters. She also created a team of 20 volunteers for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) and raised over $40,000 for research. She continues her involvement with LLS as a mentor for new candidates. She also volunteers with Doylestown Hospital, Abington Hospital, CB Cares, and Xpress Pediatrics.
Recipients were awarded $5,000 each and were recognized at the Credit Union's Annual Meeting by Tom Eisenberger, MSDFCU Chairman, and Dana Defilippis, MSDFCU CEO. Combined, the students contributed 3,839 hours toward community service efforts.