Stephanie Goodwin, a senior at Riverton High School, was awarded the Douglas F. Bates Service Award on March 25 at Cottonwood High School for her many hours and dedication to community service while in high school.
The Douglas F. Bates award is a special recognition as part of the Sterling Scholar Program sponsored by the Deseret News and KSL-TV. The award is named after the late director of school law and legislation at the State Office of Education. Stephanie received a trophy and $400.
The Sterling Scholar Program, which began in 1962 by former Deseret News educator editor Lavor K. Chaffin, is considered Utah’s most prestigious academic recognition. This year, 700 students from around the state were nominated from 54 public schools. Nominees are judged on ACT scores, grade-point averages, academic standing, AP classes, volunteer projects and other activities.
Stephanie has been involved with several volunteer activities over the past four years. She was a peer-tutor for special needs children, organized a Halloween party for patients at Primary Children’s Medical Center, is a member of Riverton High School’s Peer Leadership Team and actively participated in Riverton’s Annual Silver Rush fundraiser.
“One of my favorite service experiences I have had was for the past three years I have been able to attend the Halloween party at the hospital,” she said. “ I love being able to help brighten a child's life by such simple acts, seeing their faces light up and knowing I have been able to help them in some way is the most rewarding thing to be a part of. “
As a member of Riverton’s High School’s Peer Leadership, Stephanie and a group of 30 other students worked with children in the 6th grade to help educate them on the importance of staying out of trouble and to raise awareness about bullying.
“This has been very rewarding to feel like we are helping prevent future problems,” she said.
Currently, Stephanie is volunteering at Jordan Valley Hospital and plans to work at a kid’s day camp this summer as a counselor. In the fall she will be attending Southern Utah University and plans to continue working with children as a pediatric nurse.
“I really want to become a pediatric nurse in the future because I find a lot of joy in working with children,” she said.