Samantha Nielsen juggles schoolwork, a social life and soccer balls on a daily basis.
Still, the 14-year-old finds time during her busy schedule to also volunteer at various events.
The Halifax teen was honoured yesterday for all her hard work with the 2010 Youth Volunteer of the Year award at the 36th Provincial Volunteer Awards Ceremony and Luncheon at a packed conference room at the Westin Hotel in downtown Halifax.
“I was really surprised that I got it,” Nielson said after being one of two people to receive the award.
“I work hard but I didn’t feel like I would get recognized and I don’t feel like I need to get recognized but I was really excited to get it.”
Through her volunteering, Nielsen helps out at the Phoenix Youth Centre, various events with her soccer team, and at school and church functions.
She admits this amount of volunteering keeps her busy, but feels it’s her duty to give back.
“People are always giving back and helping us while we’re growing up and while we’re growing up we need to give back too,” the Fairview Junior High student said.
“We need to give so we can receive we need to help out the community.”
Derek Towers, an information technologist for Ultramar, was another of the 70 volunteers honoured by the province, including by Premier Darrell Dexter.
Towers, who was awarded a volunteer participation plaque, said he gives his time at various music festivals and events in HRM.
He’s also a committed blood donor throughout the year.
“Everyone knows that budgets are tight — you can’t get paid services so volunteer is the only way to do it. A lot of things, they wouldn’t get done otherwise,” Towers said.
“People appreciate it. It seems like a lot of work to be thankless but people do appreciate it.”