Divya Gandhi has devoted a lot of her time to helping out.
So much time that she was named Gulf High's Outstanding School Volunteer. The senior has racked up more than 650 hours of volunteer service since starting at Gulf as a freshman in 2009, most of it in service to the school.
Divya, an international baccalaureate student and Hudson resident, has been involved in a number of organizations throughout her time at Gulf High. She’s been a member of the Interact student service organization since enrolling at the school as freshman and has served as its president.
Her responsibilities in that position included overseeing the club’s Relay for Life team and its fundraising efforts. In the most recent Relay, the team raised more than $2,000.
Divya is also involved with the Gulf's student government. She was president of the junior class last year.
Now as a senior, she serves as vice president of the student’s government’s executive board. She was one of the three people responsible for planning this year’s homecoming festivities, including the homecoming parade, pep rally and dance. Planning started in summer, and there were days she didn’t get home until 11 p.m.
”I’d rather be a part of the group that helps out than that just go to have fun,” Divya said.
She did go to festivities, though.
Divya, 17, doesn’t question why she helps out so much. She takes pleasures in doing so.
“I like to be a part of something,” she said.
Divya has been in involved in a variety of other service activities, including the Leo Club, the school version of the Lion’s Club, the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, the holiday street parade and prom.
Kathleen Trapp, career specialist with Gulf High’s guidance department nominated Divya as Outstanding School Volunteer. Outstanding school volunteers qualify for district and then state level volunteer awards, too, but Divya did not win the district one.
Trapp points out the breadth of Divya’s service.
“She’s consistently involved in something,” Trapp said.
In her nomination, Trapp wrote:
“Without students like Divya, our school and the events we hold would not be able to function. She is the glue that holds us together with so many activities. She is an outstanding young woman with a bright future ahead. I have no doubt that she will continue with her spirit of giving throughout her life. It is a part of her and helps to define who she is, and I am proud to nominate her for the Outstanding Volunteer Award.”
Divya graduates from Gulf High in May. She ultimately hopes to become a pediatrician.
“I really enjoy helping people out,” she said. “I think that’s a very direct way.”