Faith in action: Nativity students earn Presidential Volunteer Service Awards

Nativity winners
Nativity winners (back row) Cameron Lambert, Presley Garcia, Kristine Bickler and (front row) Kathryn Lambert, Caroline Mullen and Chloe Mullen with Principal Marc Thiebach.
(Barbara Haynor)

Six Nativity School students received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for their outstanding work in community service projects. The award honors students who have performed more than 26 service hours and have made a positive impact in communities across the country.

Winners achieved gold, silver and bronze awards depending on their number of service hours and the Nativity students received their awards last week during presentations at the Rancho Santa Fe school.

“We became members of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award Program in the school year of 2019-20, when three of our students received the award,” said Nativity School’s Service Director Claudia Martinez. “Since then, the program has doubled in size, with six winners this year…and elementary school students being allowed to participate.”

Seventh grader Kristine Bickler’s 143 hours of service earned the Gold Award, as did seventh grader Chloe Mullen who completed 105 hours of service. Eighth grader Presley Garcia received the Silver Award for 75 hours of service completed.

Fifth grader Caroline Mullen received the Silver Award (55 hours), spending some time working with Rancho Santa Fe’s Little Hooves Rescue.

“I really like volunteering for the Little Hooves Rescue because it helps facilitate the adoption of miniature horses from being euthanized,” Caroline said.

Sixth grader Katie Lambert and her brother, seventh grader Cameron, earned Bronze for 50 and 60 hours respectively.

Two pairs of siblings were among Nativity’s winners and the students said one of the best parts about volunteering was working alongside their brother or sister.

“My favorite service event was Operation Mercy because it felt good to help people who lost everything in Hurricane Ida,” said Katie Lambert who volunteered with her brother Cameron and other family members. ”It was great to see our community gathering supplies into two big trucks. It felt even better to go to Louisiana and personally deliver the supplies that were wanted and needed.”

-Chloe Mullen contributed to this report.