For Boise High School senior Frank DeAngeli, volunteering is about making a difference in the world.
“I recognize it seems ludicrous for me to claim my volunteerism in a small Idaho city is changing the world,” DeAngeli said. “It only takes one stone thrown into a body of water to create ripples. if enough stones are thrown, eventually the body of water will be diverted forever.”
With Idaho now ranking second in the nation for volunteerism, it’s proof that volunteers in the Gem State are making a difference.
DeAngeli, who has been volunteering since he was in eighth grade, is an active member of One Stone, a student-run, nonprofit organization that combines volunteerism with experiential learning. Boise-based One Stone’s mission is to make students better leaders and the world a better place.
DeAngeli dedicates five to 15 hours a week to various One Stone programs including project planning, board and committee meetings and community service projects. His participation with community volunteer events allows him to serve many demographics in the Treasure Valley, from wildland firefighters to children with incarcerated parents.
“I feel that every project I’ve witnessed, from idea to execution, has impacted our community in a positive way and disrupted the public’s perception of teenagers in one way or another,” he said.
In 2013, DeAngeli served as project leader for the second annual Explore Camp, a summer camp for children at risk of obesity, sponsored by a partnership between One Stone and St. Luke’s Health System.
Alongside St. Luke’s doctors, dieticians and a Bogus Basin team, DeAngeli first took part in planning for the camp. Later, as a camp counselor and mentor, he worked one-on-one with an eighth-grader, Aaron, teaching him about healthy diet, exercise and lifestyle habits while exploring the wilderness of Bogus Basin.
“In turn, Aaron was able to teach me a lot about outlook on life by maintaining his positive attitude throughout the entire five-day camp,” DeAngeli said. “I was able to change the course of a life as well as improve my own perspective on the world.”
DeAngeli said his most significant memory volunteering came after participating in a flag-tying ceremony honoring fallen wildland firefighters. The event was held for the friends and families of the fallen firefighters. At the close of the ceremony, Vicki Minor, director of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, gave DeAngeli a tearful hug.
“I knew at that moment what I just participated in made a significant impact on a large group of people, DeAngeli said. “The feeling was absolutely spectacular.”
It’s also what keeps DeAngeli volunteering.
“The sense that I’m actually doing something to improve the community and the population around me is something I crave,” he said.
According to DeAngeli, endless amounts of issues within Idaho’s communities and the world would go unresolved without the service of volunteers.
“Any time you have the opportunity to help others, you should take it,” he said. “Not only will it be valuable to your community, it will help change your own perspective as well. I can say, without a doubt, volunteering has helped shape who I am today.”
Outside of his active involvement with One Stone, DeAngeli is a member of the Idaho Students for Conservation Club at Boise High School and has volunteered with the Hyde Park Street Fair, Conservation Voters of Idaho and the ALS Therapy Development Institute, amongst others. Currently he is working on a project geared at helping eliminate stigma surrounding teenage depression.
– Tabitha.Bower, Tabitha.firstname.lastname@example.org