Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oja named Volunteer Youth of the Year

From left are, front row, Kayla DeWitt and Maya Lindquist; middle row, August Black, William Knudson, Mattie Snyder, Nick Hoover, and Jacob Rudnick; and back row, Antton Oja, Youth Volunteer of the Year, and Jennifer Sanford, United Way of Bemidji Area.
Antton Oja has been named Bemidji’s “Inspire by Example” Volunteer Youth of the Year for his enthusiastic love of science that he brings to his volunteer services at the Headwaters Science Center.
The Headwaters Science Center has a Science Club that meets every Monday for children ages 6-13. Oja was an enthusiastic member of the Science Club while in this age group. Once he outgrew the club, he asked if he could continue as a volunteer.

Oja not only assists the students with their projects, but also helps set up and clean up of snacks and helps with material preparation for the activities.

“Science Club is a dynamic group and it takes a mature individual to adapt to the various roles required to be an effective volunteer,” said Kitura Main, volunteer coordinator for HSC. “Most importantly, Antton is a friend and mentor to the club members. He works hard to ‘get it right’ and his obvious excitement is infectious.”

Oja has volunteered for five years with the Science Club and has helped with the special events for eight years. He is 16 years old and a sophomore at Bemidji High School.

The Bemidji Inspire by Example Volunteer award program, in its 22nd year, is sponsored by United Way of Bemidji Area and the Bemidji Volunteer Directors.

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