Each year, the Junior League of Central Westchester (the “JLCW”) grants the Volunteer Service Award to female high school juniors who have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to volunteerism within their community and/or school. Due to the large number of strong applicants that the JLCW received this year, two categories of winners were created: monetary awards and recognition awards.
These winners are more than volunteers; they are visionaries, dreamers and leaders. After observing community problems, these young women acted quickly to make real and lasting positive change. Highlights from the volunteer work of our six recipients are:
Alisa Choubay from White Plains High School volunteers with the Westchester County Youth Council where she leads in promoting civic engagement among local youth. Additionally, she serves as a Youth Judge and manages some court proceedings at the White Plains Youth Court, an alternatives-to-incarceration program that adjudicates misdemeanor cases involving juveniles.
Rachel Underweiser from Scarsdale High School created a weekly after-school theater program at P.S. 75 in New York City for students grades 3-5 when she learned that their arts funding was cut. Leading the weekly drama class she educates the young girls on leadership skills and self-esteem as they create their own sense of community and trust. In addition, she created the Red Cross Club at Scarsdale High School, raising money and taking action to help people in local disasters, and is a Civic Education Advisor.
Kaitlin Cardon from White Plains High School started and leads Girl Talk in White Plains, a chapter of the national organization in which high school girls mentor middle school girls with a focus on empowering girls to handle the myriad of problems young women face. She also volunteers with St. Bernard’s Youth Group and the Westchester Coalition for Drug and Alcohol Free Youth.
Morgan Rappe from Edgemont High School established the “Edgemont Students Supporting our Military” club. With a huge membership base, they fundraise and send care packages and letters to show appreciation for our troops abroad. Their club also donates to The Wounded Warrior Project and The Fisher House Foundation, and the members volunteer at local VA hospitals. She is also a Peer Leader and student advocate.
Claire Teahan from Eastchester High School created The Eagle Impact program using the school mascot to unite athletes’ sense of teamwork with community service. The program established food drives at athletic games and collected letters to soldiers from their athletes. In addition, the program recruited a team of athletes to volunteer as coaches for a special needs after-school athletic program at one of their elementary schools and led a fundraising campaign to purchase team apparel for the special needs golf team.
Melissa Preudhomme from White Plains High School is President of Midnight Run Club at White Plains, an organization that goes into Manhattan monthly providing food and clothes to the homeless. She also organized a Midnight Run Sleep Out, in which 20 students slept outside in cardboard boxes and raised money for a local food pantry and shelter. In addition, she volunteers with the student General Organization.
Who We Are
The Junior League of Central Westchester (JLCW) is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is served the communities of Eastchester, Greenburgh, Scarsdale and White Plains for over 65 years. Its approximately 250 active and sustaining members are accomplished collaborators who identify community needs and develop effective and responsive programsto serve those needs. The JLCW invites women of all races, religions and national origins who are committed to volunteerism to become members.
The Junior League of Central Westchester (JLCW) is proud to continue celebrating over 65 years of promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving our community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.